New plans for Inverlad's 'The Yard' at Ivanhoe detail warehouse design themes

Bob Moser

Real Estate Inverlad Development's new design plans filed with the City of Orlando on The Yard at Ivanhoe mixed-use project offer a closer look at its classic warehouse-inspired architecture, and the effort being taken to reuse old materials from the site's demolition, a lead architect on the project told GrowthSpotter

The developer filed a determination request with the city's Planning Division on Sept. 1, for what will be a 630-unit multifamily development with 57,000 square feet of retail across three buildings.

Those renderings were filed concurrently with a construction permit application, and are being reviewed this week by planning staff. It's a way for the city to ensure that design on a project this big remains consistent with what was shown in the original master plan back in 2014. 

The newly-filed plans detail landscaping and hardscaping for the 7.6-acre property, and show how the one- and two-story retail portion of the development would front Virginia Avenue, serving as the property's gateway between Alden Road and Philadelphia Avenue. 

Designed as an open-air mall rich with landscaping, outdoor seating and a performance stage, the two-story retail building elevations feature red brick, bronze-painted steel and large glass windows that together imitate a classic Northeastern urban factory.

A neighboring one-story retail building's design features corrugated metal walls painted in a mix of gray tones, with aluminum doors and a large bronze metal sign. 

"We'd taken a look at a lot of old industrial-type buildings, and wanted it to resemble the neighborhood and what was there before, which were warehouses," said Wayne Dunkelberger, creative director of design at Baker Barrios, project architect. 

"We built our theme around that of a railroad yard, and decided to open up the plaza to put restaurants and retail at the south end on Virginia, because that's what you're seeing happen all along Virginia Avenue," he said. "We pushed all the residential back to the north side at Lake Formosa, and focused on the industrial brick and steel look from the turn of the century. We were also sensitive to neighbors on the east side, and worked to step the buildings down to five stories along (Philadelphia Avenue)." 

Inverlad's Phase 1 of The Yard will include apartment buildings that stand nine stories at their peak (98 feet). The new elevations offer detail on the design theme heavy on industrial, with dark red brick, gray and tan colors dominant throughout, and a large number of steel I-beams.

"They've collected a bunch of demolition material. A lot of wood and metal we salvaged will be used throughout the new development," Dunkelberger said. "Two large black tanks were found on site during demo, about 40 feet tall, and we didn't know what they were at first. Now we'll keep one in its place, and cut up the second to repurpose as art in the plaza." 

Inverlad expects to start the relocation of utilities from Alden Road over to Philadelphia Avenue for the property in October, with foundation work to follow in Second Quarter 2017, senior vice president Chance Gordy told GrowthSpotter. 

Colliers International has been hired to market the retail-commercial space, though that process won't become a focus until early next year, he added. 

In June Inverlad also paid $6 million for 2.34 acres along Virginia Drive for long-term plans to develop a second phase of "The Yard." 

In the new Phase 1 design, the apartment complex's swimming pool will be located on top of the 9th floor overlooking Lake Ivanhoe. A structure of four I-beam columns made of steel salvaged from the demolition of the site's warehouse properties earlier this year will arch over the pool, like a canopy with lighting. 

The pool itself will feature a shallow-water "sun shelf" and an in-ground spa, and on the periphery will be a pool stage, outdoor grill, fireplace and fire pit. 

On the western side of the development, alongside the railroad track, the building has been set back 20 feet to allow the city's urban trail system (the  "Dinky Line") to connect and extend northward.

Inverlad has also talked with the city about fast-tracking its railroad quiet zone investments, and is planning to install insulated glass, flooring and walls on the railroad side of the apartment buildings, Dunkelberger said. 

Littlejohn is civil engineer on the project, and general contractor is Jack Jennings and Sons.

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