Rida, Crescent Communities share details on $50M 1st phase of downtown Orlando’s Central Station

Last week, I told you dirt is expected to start moving in this year’s fourth quarter on the $200 million, transit-oriented Central Station mixed-use development in downtown Orlando.

But now, I’ve got plenty more to share.

Houston-based Rida Development Corp., which owned the site formerly known as the “Pizzuti Block” since 2008, signed an agreement with Charlotte, N.C.-based Crescent Communities LLC last month to develop the first phase of the project adjacent to downtown’s major transit hub on the corner of Orange Avenue and Livingston Street.

The $50 million Crescent Central Station is a 275-unit luxury apartment community that will include about 12,000 square feet of ground-level retail — which will be owned and managed by Rida — along with a public park and pedestrian access into the Lynx Central Station/SunRail commuter rail station just to the west.

Along with the six-story apartment/retail complex, there will be an integrated seven-level parking structure, and Rida will build the infrastructure for the balance of the project, set to be developed later.

Rida also expects to finalize a deal by year-end to build a $25 million, 126-room select-service hotel on the site, and in the future will add on two more buildings with 260,000 square feet of office space also with ground-level retail, a park connecting the two buildings and a built-in parking deck.

“We’re going to go ahead with all the internal infrastructure which allows us to help traffic flow in Phase I and puts everything in place so we’re pad-ready,” said Marc Reicher, senior vice president of operations for Rida. “It gives us maximum flexibility going forward with the project.”

Crescent Communities, meanwhile, has big plans for its portion of Phase I. The building will include studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units along with 16, two-story brownstone units. Additionally, the top level of the building will have a sun deck, and other amenities include pool, fitness center, lounge space, dog park in between the complex and the SunRail station, plus Bark & Bike — a pet spa and bike storage/maintenance facility.

“This is a true, integrated, transit-oriented development with residential; a real live/work/play environment,” said Jay Curran, vice president of multifamily development for Crescent Communities. “To be able to have retail on the ground floor of the community with future office and the hotel adjacent is really exciting.

“This is a pretty unique development, not only in Orlando but nationally. To be adjacent to so much multi-modal transit is a really unique opportunity.”

Rental rates for the apartments have yet to be determined, but the first units will be ready for occupancy in first-quarter 2015. Atlanta-based Lord Aeck & Sargent Inc. is the architect for Crescent Central Station. Check out the project details on the company’s website.

Rida submitted engineering plans to the city and expects to have those approvals within the next few months. GAI Consultants Inc. is the project’s master engineer, HKS Architects Inc. is the master planner/architect and will likely handle the hotel design as well.

Rida initially planned to call the project Midtown but shifted gears in 2011 after SunRail became official.

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