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HGI’s Recent Acquisition Includes Two Orlando Communities

8 Nov 2013, 11:20 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Harbor Group International, LLC announced that affiliates of the company have acquired three Florida apartment communities. Two of the properties, the 272-unit West Winds and the 210-unit Verandahs at Hunt Club are located in Orlando, while the 146-unit Forestlake Apartments is in Daytona Beach, within walking distance from Daytona Beach International Airport and Bellevue Business Park.

The private real estate investment and management firm is headquartered in Norfolk, Va. and has offices in New York and Tel Aviv. HGI claims to have exceeded the $3.8 billion threshold regarding its worldwide assets. The company’s holdings include more than 24,500 apartment units and more than 8.5 million square feet of commercial properties. Nine of Harbor Groups’ previously acquired multifamily properties are located in Florida. During the past three years they closed four multifamily portfolio transactions that included 7,500 units in 22 properties.

Now the company plans to raise capital of the three freshly bought communities by nearly $2.2 million. T. Richard Litton, Jr., President of HGI told the press that he considers Orlando and Daytona Beach “the right markets for our continued investment strategy throughout Florida.” He added that “HGI continues to actively pursue portfolio acquisitions that provide us unique opportunities to provide returns to our investors.”

Situated on 20 acres in central Orlando, just two blocks from Universal Studios, West Winds holds 19 garden style buildings. The property was built in 1985 and features five floor plan options of one- or two-bedroom apartments that range in size from 509 square feet to 986 square feet. The 21 buildings of Verandahs at Hunt Club, were built in the same year, on a slightly larger parcel near the intersection of Semoran and Hunt Club Boulevards. The 21-acre property features units with a patio, a den, living room, dining room, bathroom, full kitchen and up to three bedrooms. The average size of the apartments is 1,185 square feet.

Photo credits: Harbor Group



Marriott Grande Pines Golf Club Redevelopment on the Horizon

4 Nov 2013, 4:18 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Marriott is awaiting Orange County commissioners’ approval to redevelop Marriott Grande Pines Golf Club into a mixed-use property. Apartments, timeshares, hotel rooms and commercial space are included in the plan.

Marriott Vacation Club entrusted Jim Hall of Vanasse Hangen Brustlin Inc. with representing the group at the rezoning negotiations with the county. The plan was introduced on a community meeting in mid-October. The procedure should continue with the Development Review Committee’s approval of the change in land use, with the final step being the public hearing before Orange County Commission.

If the plan goes through, the 207-acre golf course will be enriched by 2,384 apartments, 100 timeshare units, 150 hotel rooms and 120,000 square feet of commercial space. The development would also bring temporary and permanent jobs, tax income to the county and increased revenue to the neighborhood. The property, wedged between Westwood Boulevard and International Drive is adjacent SeaWorld Orlando and in close proximity to Universal Orlando Resort and Disney World.

Hall told the Orlando Business Journal that 20 acres of the plot has never been developed, but it’s unclear whether Marriott wishes to exploit it now or reserve it for a future design. Earlier in October the same source reported that Integra Land Co. also plans to break ground in December on a $40 million apartment project at close quarters, virtually on the same block. The 338-unit residential complex will be built at the western tail of Central Florida Parkway and it is also expected to bring a couple-hundred construction jobs to the area. Construction of the latter is declared to be ready in mid-2015.

Photo courtesy of Bernard Gagnon via Wikimedia Commons

 



Site Work Has Begun on Darden HQ Hotel

25 Oct 2013, 7:18 am

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Darden Restaurants’ headquarters already has a gym, and a cafeteria with take-home meals. The company giant recently started development on its long-awaited HQ hotel project too. With the construction finally underway, the building is expected to be finalized within 10 months to one year from now. Moreover, Darden spokesman Rich Jeffers told Orlando Sentinel that they would like to see the hotel open this time next year. He didn’t disclose lease terms however.

The hotel, which would be a Courtyard by Marriott, will include 128 rooms and will be developed by Concord Hospitality Enterprises of Raleigh, N.C. It will mostly serve as lodging headquarters for workers attending Darden’s restaurant support center’s training sessions. Darden’s construction site is located on the corner of John Young Parkway and Taft Vineland Road, on a 64-acre campus southwest from downtown Orlando.

An Orlando development firm had been entrusted to start construction in spring 2011 with hopes of a mid-2012 inauguration, but plans had stalled in the meantime prompting the company to look for a new developer to keep the project alive. Even splitting the whole company in two had recently been considered, according to an earlier article in South Florida Business Journal. Orlando’s only Fortune 500 company, Darden Restaurants Inc. owns Red Lobster, Olive Garden and other brands, and is one of Central Florida’s largest employers with more than 6,000 employees.

Photo credits: Darden Restaurants Inc.



LATA Acquires Sunshadow Apartments in Casselberry

21 Oct 2013, 7:56 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Landmark Apartment Trust of America, Inc. announced Thursday that it has acquired Sunshadow Apartments in Casselberry in conjunction with three other multifamily properties located in Florida, Texas and Alabama, through two separate transactions totaling $98.2 million. This purchase brought LATA its fourth asset in the Orlando market. The recently purchased properties contain 1,346 units overall, and are 95 percent occupied.

Sunshadow Apartments, an apartment community currently known as Landmark at Woodland Trace, is located at 1450 Sunshadow Drive in Casselberry, FL., northwest from downtown Orlando. It is near  Altamonte Mall and Florida Hospital and offers residents private entrance, car care center, swimming pools, indoor racquetball court, 24 hour fitness center, fishing lakes, picnic areas, multi-purpose sports court and bark park on 36 acres.

The community offers one- and two-bedroom units that range in size from 715 to 988 square feet.

Stanley J. Olander, CEO and director of the REIT said in a statement for the press, that they wish to acquire more top-quality workforce housing in high-growth markets.

“With these acquisitions, we continue to grow our footprint, adding four attractive assets situated in desirable growth markets, with incremental opportunities to create value,” he adds.

LATA is a Richmond, Va.-based multifamily REIT with assets located in select metropolitan areas throughout the Southern United States. The company owns and operates approximately 18,000 apartment units, and provides management services for more than 12,500 units owned by affiliates.

Photo courtesy: Landmark Apartment Trust of America



Orlando One Step Closer to Kicking-off on New MLS Stadium

14 Oct 2013, 6:36 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Only the spending plan is left to be approved by the Orange County Commission, as city leadership has accepted plans for Orlando’s new professional soccer stadium with a unanimous vote, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

According to a press release, the October 22 vote will take place at the County Administration Building, and if the spending plan goes through, The Lions stand a good chance of putting the fresh lawn to the test during their 2015 season. By that time, the currently minor league team hopes to have expanded its franchise into MLS.

The $94.5 million agreement approved by a 7-0 vote also includes $25 million in tourist tax funding for the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center; $12 million for the Florida Citrus Bowl; $27.5 million for tourism ads; as well as $10 million for improvements to the Orange County Convention Center.

Orlando Lions president Phil Rawlins is confident that Orlando is “more than ready to support Major League Soccer.”

About 50 Lions fans and employees attended the council meeting wearing purple to show their support.

The Orlando City Soccer Club, currently a member of the USL Pro division, was promised an MLS franchise about a year ago with the condition of building a soccer-specific arena. Until the time the new stadium is ready, the team will continue playing in the Citrus Bowl.

The council approved the terms that would allow the soccer team to be the main tenant of the new city-owned stadium. In contrast to the original budget of $110 million, the development’s outlay would total about $84 million since the Legislature had rejected state funding back in the first quarter.

The construction would cost $69 million and the rest is to be spent on the land and infrastructure. The team wouldn’t pay rent but it would contribute with $30 million toward the construction, and effectuate annual payments for the next 25 years.

According to the Sentinel, the plan provides $20 million in tourist taxes for the stadium, and the remaining funds include $20 million from the city and smaller amounts from other jurisdictions, including $2 million from Seminole County.

Photo credits: Orlando City SC



AA Metals Inc. expanding and bringing new jobs to Orlando

10 Oct 2013, 10:23 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Asian American Metals Inc., an Orlando-based fabricated sheet metal distributor, bought a 12.8-acre industrial site in Jetport Industrial Park near Orlando International Airport. An importer and distributor of semi-finished aluminum products, AA Metals is currently associated with several major foreign aluminum producers and serves the North American distribution industry from its Orlando, Baltimore, Atlanta, Chicago, and Tampa warehouses.

The company already has a 32,000-square-foot facility in a multi-tenant industrial building on Investors Row in southwest Orlando, where about 25 people were employed so far. With the new property they will be able to double the personnel and more than triple the amount of available space, the Orlando Business Journal reports. According to the management’s plans, the expansion would create 25-30 permanent jobs. AA Metals Inc. announced to build a 103,000-square-foot corporate headquarters and distribution facility on the freshly acquired site.

According to the aforementioned source, the firm plans to settle in the new building in less than a year from now, thus bids are expected to go out for construction on the new building before the end of the year. The seller was represented in the transaction by Floyd Whiddon of Sun Equities Real Estate, while AA Metals was represented by Jeff York of York Property Co. The latter sees the purchase as a clear sign of the market’s improvement, adding that three other projects (one by EastGroup Properties Inc. and two by McCraney Property Co.) are also currently under development in the Southeast Orlando district.

Photo credits: Google Maps



The Grove at Isleworth Kicks Off 2nd Phase, Adds New Tenants

20 Jul 2013, 12:15 am

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

Owner Tavistock Development Company decided to celebrate The Grove at Isleworth’s success by doubling the mixed-use center’s space.

The Grove at Isleworth, Windermere, Florida

The Grove at Isleworth – Windermere, Florida

After recently signing well-known Orlando favorites Dexter’s and Jeremiah’s Italian Ice and hot new concepts BurgerFi and Marilyn Monroe Spa at the Windermere shopping center, Tavistock announced its plans for an 82,000-square-foot second phase to accommodate the new tenants.

This will more than double the space of the mixed-use center located at the corner of Conroy-Windermere and Apopka-Vineland roads—which opened in 2011 with 80,000 square feet of space. The second phase will add two new buildings, set to feature retail and restaurant space at the ground level, and medical and professional office space on the second. The new buildings will be located in an open-air, tree-lined plaza.

Cali Chic Boutique, Salt Scene and Soul Mates Boutique have also shown interest in the new space added by the second phase of the development, and will join the current list of tenants that includes LA Fitness, Panera Bread, J.P. Morgan Chase, Walgreen’s, Windermere Village Dentistry, Fifth Third Bank and Publix.

With the development of the second phase set to start this summer, Tavistock Development declared that the end result will be a more than 200,000-square-foot retail and office center placed in an open-air shopping center environment, but has not mentioned a prospective completion date.

Image courtesy of Tavistock Group



HCA Holds Open House to Preview $65M Poinciana Medical Center

12 Jul 2013, 2:40 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

poinciana medical center

Local community members will get a chance to see for themselves that the long-awaited Poinciana Medical Center is soon to become a reality, as HCA Healthcare has scheduled a VIP tour on July 13.

The community-wide open house will preview the new facility, located in Poinciana—ten miles south of Kissimmee, at the corner of Cypress Parkway and Solivita Boulevard—that will serve, upon completion, as a campus for the Osceola Regional Medical Center and HCA Healthcare Company.

Poinciana Medical Center will be a two-story, 90,000 square foot building with 24 private medical-surgical beds and a six-bed ICU. According to a company news release, in support of both inpatient and outpatient care, the facility will provide a full range of acute care services including diagnostic imaging, inpatient and outpatient surgery, cardiac catheterization, laboratory, pharmacy, and a full range of support services.

The Emergency Department will be approximately 11,000 square feet with 12 exam rooms. In addition, the facility will include a 16-slice CT, radiography, fluoroscopy room and ultrasound. The facility also features an EMS entrance and helicopter pad for rapid transport of critically ill patients to Osceola Regional Medical Center.

The project calls for a nearly $65 million investment on behalf of Nashville-based HCA (Hospital Corporation of America). Upon completion, the Poinciana Medical Center campus will house a 42,000-square-foot freestanding medical office building with leasable square footage for physicians and other healthcare providers, and it will create up to 200 full-time jobs.

Image courtesy of Poinciana Medical Center Facebook page

 



Orlando World Center Marriott Makes Big Splash with New Water Slides

3 Jul 2013, 9:01 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

orlando world center marriott pool

One of the world’s most famous pools is now set to take poolside fun to a new level!

The award-winning Orlando World Center Marriott has just wrapped up the highly anticipated overhaul to its iconic Falls Pool Oasis, and no efforts were spared in making it a unique experience for its guests.

The resort replaced its old 109-foot-long slide with a new Icon Slide Tower featuring two, 200-foot winding waterslides and one, 90-foot speed waterslide—among the tallest and fastest resort slides in Florida. Other new features include a Splash Zone offering kids a zero entry pool and playground, as well as a Kid’s Activity Zone and Poolside Bar and Grill.

Two former lagoons were replaced by a firepit area that stands right next to the new bar and an event area meant to serve special events. The existing poolside bar now features 180 seats, having nearly tripled its size. Following the multi-million dollar transformation, the resort now features everything on-premise from the iconic Falls Pool to a championship golf course, Bill Madonna Golf Academy at Hawk’s Landing Golf Club, a full service spa and fitness center, and 10 restaurants and lounges, including a food court for guests on-the-go.

Orlando World Center Marriott will officially celebrate the completion of the extensive renovation July 18-21, inviting summer travelers to come make a splash among sun-seekers. A wide array of on-property events and activities have been scheduled, including live poolside music and entertainment, a luau, golf clinics and yoga on the lawn, as well as culinary events like “Taste of Our World,” cooking classes and an exclusive Wine Dinner.orlando world center marriot

Towering above more than 200 prime Central Florida acres, the Four-Diamond, 2,000-room Orlando World Center is located only 1.5 miles from Walt Disney World and just minutes from SeaWorld Orlando, Discovery Cove, Aquatica and Universal Studios Orlando. Famous for its curvy, 564,000-gallon, palm-lined pool with multiple waterfalls, the resort also offers 450,000 total square-feet of event space.

Images courtesy of Marriott



CBRE Arranges $27M Multifamily Sale, Finds New Tenant for HD Supply Building

9 Jun 2013, 11:54 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

This past week was quite an eventful one for CBRE’s Orlando office. Not only has the team grown by adding Jay Dixon—a former senior office leasing professional at Lincoln Property Company in Orlando with over ten years of experience—as an office building sales professional, but it has also managed to close on the sale and acquisition financing for The Element, and land a new tenant for the HD Supply Building.

CBRE arranged the $27 million sale and the $20.25 million financing of The Element, one of Orlando’s premier gated communities. CBRE’s Debt & Equity Financing Group worked on behalf of Optimus Element, LLP, advised by Miami-based, TM Real Estate Group, LLC, to secure acquisition financing through J.P. Morgan of Atlanta, Georgia. Proceeds were used to acquire the property. CBRE’s Capital Markets Group also exclusively represented the seller, Karlin Real Estate of Los Angeles, California.

CBRE Vice Chairman Charles Foschini and Vice President Christopher Apone, both with CBRE’s Debt & Equity Financing Group, along with Christian Lee, vice chairman with CBRE’s Capital Markets Institutional Group, arranged the financing. From CBRE’s Investment Properties Group in Orlando, Shelton Granade, executive vice president, Luke Wickham, vice president, and Justin Basquill, associate, represented the seller.

The Element is a luxury community with frontage on the MetroWest Golf Club, Orlando’s only Robert Trent Jones Senior-designed signature golf course. Extensively rehabbed in 2009/2010, The Element offers beautiful golf course views and Class A features such as private garages, 9-foot and vaulted ceilings, crown molding and full-size washers and dryers.

CBRE was also in charge of negotiating the lease with TravelClick—a provider of products and services for the hospitality industry—that plans to expand its presence in Florida. TravelClick has signed a 36,748-square-foot lease for the entire third floor of the HD Supply Building, a five-story office building at 501 Church Street in Orlando’s Central Business District. CBRE represented both the tenant and the landlord in the negotiations.

TravelClick will consolidate its offices in Winter Springs and south Orlando with the move, planned for July 2013. The new space—larger than both of the company’s two existing offices combined—will accommodate the company’s forecasted expansion that could include up to 450 new employees.

HD Supply Building was built in 2004 and is strategically located at Church Street and Division Avenue, with easy access to Interstate 4 and East/West Expressway. The building is adjacent to the new Amway Center and is within walking distance to popular restaurants and retail.

Image via Apartment Guide



Upcoming Reopening Brings New Name for Wyndham Orlando Resort

31 May 2013, 7:47 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

wyndham resort orlando international driveThe iconic Wyndham Orlando Resort, currently undergoing a multi-million dollar “re-imagination,” will open in October 2013 under a new name. Owner Wyndham Hotels and Resorts LLC has decided to officially change the hotel’s name to Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive—meant to mark a new era in its 40-year history.

In addition to the new name, the hotel will unveil a revamped look for all 613 guestrooms and suites, adorned with modern, “resort-chic” décor that will combine hues of poppy red with elegant, sleek furnishings. The revitalization also includes an enhanced guest arrival experience with a meandering path leading to a grand porte-cochere and expansive, newly constructed lobby with views of a sweeping Grand Lawn, complete with vast manicured greens.

60,000 square feet of meeting space will also be added, while the renovated indoor function space—now unified into one building for increased ease and convenience—will allow meeting attendees to stay connected with the addition of an ultra-contemporary technology lounge.

The 613-room Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive will be positioned as the epicenter of excitement with the addition of surrounding I-Shops, bringing hosts of new dining and shopping options, as well as development of I-Drive Live, including the Orlando Eye (inspired by London Eye Ferris wheel), Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, and SEA LIFE Aquarium planned for one block away.

The Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive is also located just minutes from the Orange County Convention Center and about 13 miles from the Orlando International Airport.

Room amenities include an MP3 docking station, 100 percent cotton BeWell Bedding, feather pillows, shower massage, cable TV and on-demand movies, to name a few. A state-of-the-art fitness center, business center, game room, outdoor pools and whirlpools are all found onsite.

Image courtesy of Wyndham Hotels and Resorts



Luxury Orlando Apartment Community Changes Owners, Name

24 May 2013, 7:54 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

Leading national apartment investment and management company Bell Partners Inc. recently acquired the award-winning Landmarking at Universal Apartments in Orlando, Fla. for an undisclosed amount. The transaction, which closed on May 15, also brought a new name for the 310-unit luxury community, with the new owners renaming it Bell at Universal.

The acquisition brings Bell Partners’ multifamily investment mark up to $150 million.

Joe Cannon, vice president of Bell Partners, said: “Bell at Universal is an upscale community which is uniquely positioned within the Orlando market, and we are pleased to acquire this highly desirable property. As a key acquisition in one of our select target markets, Bell at Universal is an excellent strategic addition to our central Florida portfolio.”

Bell at Universal, winner of the 2012 Aurora Award for Architectural Excellence, is a 310-unit garden-style community offering one- and two-bedroom homes with available den options. Its location places it just steps away from Universal Studios Orlando and 15 minutes from downtown, making it accessible from South Kirkman Rd., Florida’s Turnpike and I-4.

The community’s luxury amenities include a resort-like swimming pool, clubhouse, cabana with a fireplace, fitness center, theatre room, and internet café. The community is located in close proximity to retail destinations, entertainment venues and employment centers.

Marcus & Millichap’s latest Orlando market report reveals that multifamily transaction velocity remained practically unchanged over the past 12 months, but the number of deals was one of the highest recorded since before the recession.

During the past year, the number of properties selling for more than $10 million has modestly increased, while deals from $1 to $10 million have declined. Buyers are motivated to purchase metro Orlando properties as the job market keeps strengthening and property operations seem to be improving.

Chart courtesy of Marcus & Millichap

Image via Bell Apartment Living



Metropolitan Resort Orlando Soon to Become World’s Largest Econo Lodge

10 May 2013, 6:16 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

California Hotels has big plans in metropolitan resort orlandostore for the 297-room Metropolitan Resort. Through its subsidiary, 8444 Investments LLC, the company plans to convert the property to The World’s Largest Econo Lodge.

Work is set to start on the 8444 Austrian Court Way property in June, the developers planning to keep the hotel open for the entire duration of the renovation and improvement process.

With a prime location on the world renowned International Drive in Orlando, Florida, The World’s Largest Econo Lodge will consist of 297 rooms with king or double bed accommodations, and feature a full delicatessen, free Wi-Fi, coffee makers, refrigerators and iron and ironing boards inside all rooms. The Econo Lodge will also be connected to the YMCA Aquatic Center, equipped with three indoor pools, a large cardio fitness center, and four indoor racquetball courts. All guests of the hotel will receive complimentary access to the Aquatic Center.

“We’re proud to announce our affiliation with Choice Hotels and being able to bring something grand to the table as we initiate what I hope to be a long and prosperous relationship together,” says Remo Polselli , CEO of California Hotels Corporation. “The real winner here are the customers and the city of Orlando, this couldn’t happen to better people and a better place in Orlando, International Drive.”

All property improvements will be completed by October 2013. Apparently, this is merely the first in a series of Choice Hotel franchises California Hotels has planned for 2013, but no further details have been released.

The Metropolitan Resort is not the only Orlando-area hotel heading for renovation; the 123-room Hilton Garden Inn Orlando North/Lake Mary will soon undergo a $2 million renovation, as new owner GF Management plans to improve the recently acquired property. The company bought the property last week, and the acquisition is this year’s first for GF Management. Like the Metropolitan Resort, the Hilton Garden InnOrlando North/Lake Mary will also stay open for the entire duration of the renovation.

Image via HotelClub



New Vista at Lost Lake Units to Add to Growing Local Multifamily Inventory

6 May 2013, 5:56 pm

 By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

McCann Realty Partners, the company that bought the Vista at Lost Lake apartments in Clermont last year for $28 million, is now moving forward with the project by starting construction on a second phase.

Phase II will add 192 units to the existing 276 that were built by Citrus Tower Development LLC in 2007. Located on State Road 50 and U.S. Highway 27, Vista at Lost Lake  boasts one-, two- and three-bedroom units, equipped with nine foot ceilings, full size washers and dryers, oversized pantries, private solariums and balconies, and spacious closets.

Existing amenities include complete concierge services; a fitness center featuring state-of-the-art equipment; sauna; resort-style swimming pool; car care center; and a private residents’ club room complete with billiard tables, elegantly designed seating areas and lounge.

The new three-story complex will be adjacent to the existing one, and is scheduled for completion at year end, with leasing activity to start in September 2013. The combined 468 apartment homes will be managed by Pegasus Residential, LLC. While development costs were not disclosed, the construction loan was funded by Wells Fargo Bank NA, and the project was financed through a joint venture with an equity partner, the Orlando Business Journal reports.

Prospects for the Orlando multifamily sector continue to brighten as the local economy picks up. Construction activity in the first quarter brought four new projects to the market, adding approximately 1,300 units to local inventory—all market-rate rentals, spread across four submarkets. According to a Marcus & Millichap report, more than 2,000 units were completed in the past four quarters, a substantial jump from the 1,400 rentals placed in service in the previous 12 months.

The second phase of the Vista at Lost Lake apartments will add to the approximately 2,700 apartments planned for the metro area—the highest annual output in the past four years—and the 2,500 rentals currently under construction and slated for delivery this year and next.

Chart courtesy of Marcus & Millichap
Image via The Vista at Lost Lake – Clermont Facebook page



Florida Hospital Breaks Ground on Emergency Department, Plans Further Expansion

26 Apr 2013, 8:11 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

Florida Hospital East Orlando recently celebrated its upcoming expansion, that will double the size of its current emergency department, during a special groundbreaking ceremony. Both hospital and community leaders attended the event and planted 260 flowers—a number that stands for the average number of patients seen on a daily basis in the emergency department.

In 2012, the Florida Hospital East Orlando emergency department treated more than 83,000 patients. As a result of the high demand for emergency care, the hospital has decided to double the size of its emergency department from 36 to 65 beds. The expansion will also include several child-friendly rooms with nature themes and LED lighting along with kid-friendly waiting areas to provide a more calming environment for children. Construction for the emergency department is expected to be completed in summer 2014. When the expansion is complete, Florida Hospital East Orlando will be able to treat 100,000 patients a year.

Florida Hospital East Orlando will also be building out the fifth floor of its main patient tower. This expansion—set for completion in July 2013—will add up to 40 private patient beds. In order to expand surgical services offered by the hospital; the addition of 40 new beds will bring the total number to 265.

“As the East Orlando community has grown over the years, Florida Hospital East Orlando has made enhancements to grow and expand in order to provide the best care possible in a convenient setting,” said Mike Thompson, administrator of Florida Hospital East Orlando. “Our goal is to provide patients with more efficient service and access to high quality medical care in their own backyard.”

It is estimated that the overall expansion process will generate about 75 new construction jobs, as well as new clinical jobs within the hospital.

Images via Florida Hospital



$30M Oviedo Multifamily Community Now Underway

19 Apr 2013, 6:52 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

Oviedo, Fla. will soon add 275 residential units to the local inventory, as Jacksonville-based LandSouth Construction begins construction on the $30 million Park Place Apartments and Oviedo on the Park.

The project—developed by PAC Land Development of Winter Park, Fla.—consists of four buildings with 275 residences and a multi-purpose clubhouse. Park Place Apartments and Oviedo on the Park will rise at State Road 434 (Alafaya Trail) and Mitchell Hammock Road, placing the community within proximity to a budding entertainment, retail, restaurant and employment hub.

Park Place Apartments will feature 14 floor plans of one-, two- and three-bedroom residences with one or two baths. The units will range in size from 797 to 1,396 square feet of living space, some of them including covered patios and balconies. Interior elements will include frameless European style shaker cabinets, simulated wood grain vinyl plank flooring, tiled baths, crown molding and kitchen islands.

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to build another high-quality multifamily community in partnership with PAC Land Development. These beautiful garden apartment homes in the heart of Oviedo will be adjacent to parks, shopping, restaurants and retail to attract residents who enjoy an amenity-rich lifestyle and convenient location,” said James Pyle, president and CEO of LandSouth Construction.

The development, scheduled for completion in the summer of 2014, will have the signature of Architect Charlan-Brock & Associates.

Image via Charlan-Brock & Associates



Valencia, UCF Officials Dedicate New Building at Osceola Campus

15 Apr 2013, 6:27 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

Valencia College officials, along with officials from the University of Central Florida, dedicated the newest building on Valencia’s Osceola Campus on April 11, marking the expansion of the Valencia-UCF partnership in Osceola County.

The new 150,000-square-foot Building 4 is the largest building on any Valencia campus; the four-story building was designed to house 18 classrooms, the campus library, a bookstore, 10 science labs, math and computer labs, as well as the campus cafeteria and a coffee bar. Space has also been set aside for 18 offices for UCF faculty members and administrative staff.

Designed by architectural firm Hunton-Brady and built by contractor Clancy & Theys, Building 4’s construction costs were approximately $35 million, with UCF contributing $7.5 million.

UCF, which operates a regional campus at Valencia’s Osceola Campus, already offers a handful of degrees at the Kissimmee campus, ranging from business to political science. With this expanded presence on the Osceola campus, UCF plans to add a diverse array of bachelor’s degrees to the Osceola campus by fall 2013, including degrees in biomedical science, criminal justice, psychology, public administration and health services administration.

Building 4 was intentionally designed to set itself apart from any other classroom building on the campus. The outdoor and indoor spaces were designed to provide meeting and study space for students, courtyards provide shade and places for students to relax, and the library features a huge reading room with windows that overlook the campus. Architect Maurizio Maso, who designed the building, said the vision for Building 4 came from a meeting with Shugart.  “He said the architecture should be soaring, inspiring and grounded—and that if Osceola Campus is a village, Building 4 should be the cathedral.”

The building, which opened for classes in January, has quickly become the center of student life for the 12,000 students who take classes at the Kissimmee campus.

Image via Valencia College



Developers Kick-Start $38M Transit-Oriented Apartment Community in Orlando

5 Apr 2013, 2:40 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

A new community is set to rise in downtown Orlando, as developers Wood Partners and The Ustler Group have joined forces and started working together on a 248-unit urban apartment community called The Ivy – Residences at Health Village.

Set on 3.4 acres acquired by the developers in Florida Hospital’s Health Village in November 2012, the $38 million apartment community will stand amid the hospital’s 172-acre Health Village—a mixed-use, transit-oriented, master planned urban development. Centered around health and wellness, Health Village features a variety of uses including medical, research, medical office, commercial, hotel and multifamily.

The Ivy—Residences at Health Village will consist of two mid-rise buildings and an integrated parking garage, and it will offer 248 one-, two- and three-bedroom units averaging 941 square feet, with a total living area of 233,368 square feet. The first units at The Ivy are scheduled for completion in late 2013 or early 2014 with full project completion and availability of all units set for mid-2014.

Baker Barrios serves as design architect, with Charlan Brock & Associates as the architect-of-record and Wood Florida Builders as the general contractor. GAI Consultants has been chosen as the civil engineer for the project, while Libra Design Group will be the landscape architect. Wood Partners and Ustler have a marketing relationship with Florida Hospital to provide their employees with the first opportunity to lease apartments at The Ivy.

The Ivy could be the first true transit-oriented development project to start vertical construction in Orlando since the formal announcement of SunRail. A SunRail station is part of Health Village and will be operational as of 2014. The Ivy will be just one SunRail stop away from the premier dining and shopping offerings of Winter Park’s Park Avenue, and two stops from the main downtown Orlando stop at Church Street Station in the Central Business District, which is in proximity to the newly completed Amway Center and the under-construction Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

Image courtesy of Wood Partners



Winter Park’s University Plaza Shopping Center Gets $10.5M Financing

25 Mar 2013, 3:59 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, working exclusively on behalf of borrower North American Development Group, has recently arranged $10.5 million in financing for the grocery-anchored University Plaza shopping center in Winter Park.

HFF director Chris Drew, senior managing directors Paul Stasaitis and Danny Finkle, and senior real estate analyst Jose Carrazana led the HFF team representing North American Development Group; they have successfully secured the 15-year, fixed-rate loan through Prudential Mortgage Capital Company.

“NADG is a sophisticated borrower that is taking advantage of historically low interest rates to lock in highly accretive long-term, fixed-rate financing for a core asset in their portfolio,” said Drew. “We continue to see incredible demand from top-tier life insurance companies for fixed-rate loans on grocery-anchored retail throughout the state.”

Located at 4000 North Goldenrod Road at the intersection of University Boulevard in Winter Park, the 77,918-square-foot University Plaza shopping center is currently 95 percent leased, with Publix as the anchor tenant. Set approximately 10 miles northeast of downtown Orlando, the building was redeveloped in 2011.

Marcus & Millichap estimates that the Orlando retail market will most likely strengthen in 2013, given the upcoming employment gains, population growth and increased tourism. Retailers are already responding to market improvements, several having already made public their expansion plans. The gas station/convenience store segment is especially active with RaceTrac, 7-Eleven and Wawa all adding multiple sites this year. Other retailers with new stores under way include Dollar General, Family Dollar and Walmart.

Image via Loopnet
Chart Courtesy of Marcus & Millichap


Wood Partners Delivers First Units of Luxury $32.7M Alta at Lake Eve

11 Mar 2013, 7:17 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

Wood Partners is making headlines for the second time this month; after having recently broken ground on its 200-unit Rialto apartment complex in southwest Orlando, the company is now announcing the official opening of its newest multifamily community, the $32.7-million Alta at Lake Eve.

Currently, 60 apartment homes are ready for move-in, and the remaining units are available for pre-lease, with the official completion date set for April 2013.

The 264-unit luxury apartment community consists of four four-story mid-rise buildings and a couple of two-story carriage home buildings. Featuring the latest in resort-style amenities, from a private movie theater and state-of-the-art fitness center to high-efficiency washer-dryer units in every residence, Alta at Lake Eve residents will also benefit from a luxurious two-story clubroom that also includes a conference room, executive business center, coffee lounge, reading room, billiards room and game room.

The controlled-access development boasts one of the area’s best locations, at 12515 Lake Square Circle, two miles from Walt Disney World and about five miles from Universal Studio, Sea World and the Orange County Convention Center. Residents are just steps from the I-Ride trolley that facilitates access to the Orlando Premier Outlet Mall, as well as hundreds of restaurants and night spots.

“Location is a major selling point, but this development is unique and has a WOW factor from the moment you walk in the door,” said Joe Garibay, Southeast Regional Property Manager for Wood Residential Services. “Alta at Lake Eve is a very modern mid-rise with wood-plank flooring, espresso cabinets, elevators and high-end outdoor features.”

The 264 units include executive suites; 656-square-foot one-bedroom models; 1,132- to 1,200-square-foot two-bedroom, two-bath models; and 1,476-square-foot three-bedroom, two-bath models. Patios, balconies, sun rooms and garages are also available.

The 9.69-acre community is Wood Partners’ 11th project in Orlando. Since 1998, the company has developed 27 projects with a total valuation of $1.1 billion in Florida. Wood Florida Builders, LLC—Wood Partners’ Florida construction branch—served as builder for the project, while Charlan Brock & Associates was the architect.

Image Courtesy of Wood Partners






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