‘Build-to-rent’ community in former South West hub gets DeLand Planning Board approval

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PHOTO COURTESY OF COBB COLE

A map of the area once pointed to the center of southwestern activity. The area in gray resides in the city of DeLand, while the orange area is part of Orange City, and the purple area is part of Deltona.

Commercial and industrial developments can also be built

The rezoning of an “upscale luxury” apartment community near DeLand’s I-4 exit at State Road 472 received a recommendation from the DeLand Planning Board on May 18. This community is only part of proposed plans for a large development near the southern limits of DeLand.

CTC DeLand, or Christopher Thomas Communities DeLand, would be 238 units of “cottage-style multi-family rental apartments,” as DeLand attorney Mark Watts of Cobb Cole, representing developer Taylor Morrison, described it. The 29-acre project will be part of development plans for the Southwest Activity Center, a large lot on the outskirts of DeLand that has been the subject of ambitious potential development plans since the 1990s.

Each of CTC DeLand’s units will be a one-story private home, but the accommodations will be rented as apartments. Amenities planned for the development include a dog park, butterfly garden and clubhouse.

Units in the “build to rent” community will be designed from the ground up with tenants in mind.

CTC DeLand’s target tenants, Watts said, aren’t necessarily people looking to rent their first apartment or people looking for affordable housing, but tenants by choice who are downsizing or not interested. by the property.

When the project was first launched seen by the Town Planning CouncilSeeking not approval but guidance, planning board chairwoman Virginia Comella complained that the development was catering to outsiders moving south to Florida.

“Our poor people who work here and provide the services we need can’t afford to live anywhere here, and that really, really bothers me,” Comella said of the development, then named Stonekirk, in February.

When the Planning Board saw the plans on May 18, Comella had warmed to the idea a bit, saying the project “has merit” and “it’s a concept we could consider for the non-luxury market. . ”

The project was unanimously approved by the Planning Council, as was the request for rezoning into PUD, or planned unit development. CTC DeLand’s rezoning application will be sent to the DeLand City Commission with comments from the Planning Board, including the codification of low impact development requirements in the agreement between the city and the developer.

PHOTO COURTESY OF COBB COLE
FIRST PLANS – These first plans show what CTC DeLand, a 238-unit residential development near the I-4 exit from DeLand on State Road 472, could look like. The development would feature 238 cottage-style rental units.

30 years of preparation?

In 1990, DeLand, Orange City, Deltona, and Volusia County devised a plan to turn nearly 2,000 acres of land near the interchange of I-4 and State Road 472 into a showcase of economic strength. The southwestern hub of activity has been designated Regional Impact Development, or RDI, and each of the players has drawn up ambitious plans to develop their share.

Fast forward to 2022. That lofty dream of a collaborative business enterprise is dead, and all of DRI’s partners have gone their separate ways. Plans expired in 2009, and so far the only partner to do much with its package is Deltona — the Halifax Health | UF Health – Medical Center of Deltona and Epic Theaters of West Volusia both inhabit part of the old DRI.

Three decades after the original plot development plans, the DeLand Planning Board reviewed plans for the DeLand portion of the former hub of activity – CTC DeLand and DeLand Tech Park, a commercial and industrial development on three plots totaling 143 acres.

The first piece of DeLand Tech Park, 120.6 acres, would include 1.39 million square feet of industrial space. The second and third parcels, totaling 22.2 acres, would include 205,000 square feet of retail space.

DeLand Tech Park is in its early stages, but one of the goals of the project, said attorney Mark Watts, representing the developer, is to be flexible and allow for many different uses.

As the DeLand Planning Board took a look at the project, city staff asked the council to delay the rezoning vote to give the city’s technical review board more time to complete the rezoning. examine.

The planning council voted unanimously to table the project at the June council meeting, except for member Buz Nesbit, who recused himself due to ties to one of the project parties.

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