Dominium closes on land for side-by-side affordable housing communities near Apopka – GrowthSpotter
At a time of increased demand for more affordable housing in Orange County, a Minneapolis-based developer recently closed land just outside the city limits of Apopka to build side-by-side communities with options lower rent.
On October 31, Dominium Development paid $4.7 million for 37 acres along Plymouth Sorrento Road, near the State Road 429 and State Road 515 interchange, where it will place 492 apartments in two separate projects. along the northwest shore of Standish Lake.
The Mira would provide 312 workforce housing units while The Waters would be an age-restricted community with 180 units.
The Orange County Commission approved the land use change for the project in July, rezoning it from its original agricultural designation as part of a rural citrus district to a planned development with residential density mean.
The commission also approved 14 variances at the time, including a reduction in the setback to 75 feet for single-family properties and an increase in building height to four stories for the seniors’ residence component.
“I’m really excited about this project,” County Commissioner Christine Moore said at the July 12 meeting. “It’s so necessary. …As soon as this community hears about four stories overlooking Standish Lake on a hill, it will fill up on the first day it opens for applications. It’s a nice project.
She just wishes these communities could start accepting tenants sooner.
Matt Hodges, Dominium’s development associate, said GrowthSpotter construction is expected to begin by the third or fourth quarter of 2023, with a certificate of occupancy expected 23 months after construction begins. Renders are not yet available.
“It’s still a total of two years before they’re ready to move in,” Moore said at the reunion. “Anything we can do internally to expedite these processes and projects would be helpful.”
The county is exploring policy changes to expedite the county’s review process for multifamily projects.
In unincorporated Orange County, 8,456 apartments are currently under construction while another 17,914 are in the pipeline pending final approval.
At the July meeting, County Mayor Jerry Demings responded to criticism from residents who feel the county is approving too many residential development projects.
“We have people continuing to move in and we have a housing deficit, especially housing designated as affordable or accessible,” he said. “We need to make sure we are responsive to the emerging housing crisis that we have.”
Orange County needs about 55,000 more apartments by 2030 to meet demand, according to the Florida Apartment Association.
In September, the commission unanimously approved an updated action plan through fiscal year 2024-25, estimated to create 2,550 additional affordable housing units in the Orlando metro area. At that time, the average monthly rent was $1,810, which represents a 30% increase over one year.
A report released Friday by rent.com said annual statewide rents rose 23.2% in Florida and remained high despite a nationwide cooling trend. Overpriced metropolitan area markets include Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Tampa, North Port-Bradenton, Orlando and Deltona-Daytona Beach, according to the report.
Dominion, a developer of high quality affordable housing, is working to improve this data. The company, which currently manages 38,000 apartments in more than 220 properties across the United States, is set to supply the Orlando market with an additional 1,500 affordable units in four new projects.
Two age-restricted communities are under construction in Osceola County, including the 331-unit Heron Ridge, which is slated to open soon, and the 383-unit Osprey Park near Poinciana, which is slated to begin welcoming tenants from by summer 2023, according to the company. website.
In Orange County, the company is planning a 288-unit 62-plus-unit community called Sandpiper Glen on the south side of East Colonial Drive in Orlando, just east of State Road 417 and a short distance drive southwest from the University of Central Florida. This is expected to open in the spring of 2024, according to the website.
The land transaction for the Apopka project was brokered by Capstone Land Sales, who represented the sellers, Wayne and Susie Simpson.
Devon Quist, the company’s development associate, told GrowthSpotter in January that each of the units will serve tenants earning 60% or less of the area’s median income.
A concept plan by Bessolo Design Group shows The Waters seniors’ community would have 72 one-bedroom, 80 two-bedroom and 28 three-bedroom units. While a unit breakdown for the Mira is not included in the plans, some of the property’s 14 apartment buildings, surrounding a pool and playground, would include four-bedroom units.
“Dominium has a long history of developing quality affordable housing and is a perfect fit to bring its product to this location in Apopka,” Brian Hunsicker, senior adviser at Capstone, said in a statement. “With the continued need for affordable housing and the incredible growth of the submarket, it’s great to see this project taking shape that will serve hundreds of households for years to come.”
The project joins a host of others in the pipeline for the Apopka region. The city has more than 85 development projects under construction, approved or under consideration, including several in its downtown area.
“Apopka has seen a burst of growth over the past few years,” Hunsicker, who has been involved in several transactions in the region, added in a phone call. “And there is apparently no end in sight. There is always a huge demand for apartments.
Do you have any advice on developing Central Florida? Contact me at (407)-800-1161 or dwyatt@GrowthSpotter.comor send me a tweet at @DustinWyattGS. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.