Bainbridge Companies eyes more multi-family sites in Orlando area as other projects take shape

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By securing the land where the Mystery Fun House attraction once operated and innovating on the property along International Drive, The Bainbridge Companies has in recent weeks made major strides on two long-planned apartment projects in the neighborhood. Orlando tourist.

Meanwhile, the South Florida-based luxury multi-family developer — which currently has nearly 2,000 units under construction or built in the Orlando market — is looking for more land in the area for future projects.

Bob Thollander, president of development at Bainbridge, said GrowthSpotter that he is looking for additional sites in Lake Nona and the tourism corridor with a long-term plan to bring more multi-family communities here.

“When we find something that we think is a strong submarket, we keep coming back to the pit,” he said. “We are really bullish on this submarket.”

He described the area around Disney World and Universal theme parks, and near Lake Nona and Orlando International Airport as “hotspots that we’re focused on.”

One place Bainbridge is possibly considering landing is the mixed-use Tyson Ranch community along Boggy Creek Road, just south of the airport which is being developed by Ralph Singleton.

The company had previously signed on to develop a 324-unit apartment complex in the northern part of PD, but pulled out of the deal.

Bainbridge had previously signed on to develop a 324-unit apartment complex in the northern part of Tyson Ranch PD, but pulled out of the deal.

“We’ve been working on Tyson Ranch for probably three years and it’s been a slow, gradual storyline,” he said.

He said the company was still interested in the location, but the plan was to hold out until the county had completed work to widen this section of Boggy Creek Road from two lanes to four lanes, from the line of the Osceola County at State Road 417.

“We have continued to search for a site there, however, there is nothing short term on the books for us,” he added.

Seeking available land, the company is also looking to expand the footprint of two existing apartment sites. Plans have been filed to add a second phase at Bainbridge Mission Pointe on the shores of Lake Wippoorwill off Narcoossee Road.

The first phase, totaling 300 units, recently began to welcome tenants. The second phase would bring another 176 units to the adjacent property.

The Bainbridge World Center, meanwhile, is becoming the largest Bainbridge apartment community in the Orlando market. In two phases, it will contain a total of 806 units near the intersection of International and World Center Drive.

Bainbridge closed on land for the first phase on June 29 in an $11 million deal. The company then took out a construction loan for the property totaling $32.6 million from Pinnacle Bank.

Bainbridge announced on October 10 that it had opened the Bainbridge World Center. Scheduled to open in early 2024, it will consist of four 5-storey garden-style apartment buildings surrounding a man-made lake and surface parking. He said the facilities would include a large, free-standing clubhouse of about 10,000 square feet, a resort-style swimming pool and a fitness center.

“With immediate access to I-Drive, 417 and I-4, future residents will have tremendous access not only to employment and lifestyle amenities locally, but throughout South Orlando,” said Thollander in a press release announcing the inauguration. “Bainbridge World Center will present a blend of modern sophistication with a luxury oasis environment, all within easy reach of diverse employment opportunities, excellent schools, retail and endless entertainment.”

The second phase of Bainbridge World Center is pending Orange County approval.

On September 22, Bainbridge purchased 5.5 acres on Major Boulevard between S. Kirkman Road and Interstate 4 for $10 million. This is where the Mystery Fun House operated from 1971 to 2001.

With a wizard's head on the roof, mazes, a dinosaur-themed miniature golf course, a space-themed laser tag dome

With a rooftop wizard’s head, mazes, a dinosaur-themed miniature golf course, a space-themed “starbase omega” laser tag dome and more, the attraction was a place to popular meeting for teenagers and tourists in its heyday.

More recently, Westgate Resorts used the building as a training center for employees.

Bainbridge has been under contract to buy the land since before the pandemic. Now that the sale is complete, Thollander said the old Mystery Fun House building will be demolished in the coming weeks to make way for a 390-unit community called Bainbridge The Grand.

Units will range in size from 820 to 1,486 square feet in a five-story urban-style wraparound design with an attached parking garage. Community facilities will include a resort-style swimming pool, expansive club room, game room with shuffleboard, pool table and retro arcade games, home work spaces, fitness center and on-site storage.

Bainbridge opened its first apartment community in the Orlando market in 2018 when the 288-unit Bainbridge at Nona Place opened along the south shore of Lake Wippoorwill. A year later, the 278-unit Bainbridge Winter Park welcomed its first tenants.

Bainbridge has two more multi-family homes under construction. The 252-unit Bainbridge Nona North along Wetherbee Road is scheduled to open in January.

Plans call for a 252-unit apartment complex, with 138 one-bedroom units, 90 two-bedroom units, and 24 three-bedroom units spread over three three-story buildings.

The developer is also building a 330-unit apartment community called Bainbridge Sand Lake on 13 acres at 7575 Universal Blvd. The company bought the land near Universal Studio’s Epic Universe site earlier this year for $12.8 million.

Do you have any advice on developing Central Florida? Contact me at (407)-800-1161 or [email protected]or send me a tweet at @DustinWyattGS. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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