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Ustler plans market rate housing, says it will pay Orlando $5.5M for Creative Village lot

Ustler Development says it and a joint venture partner will pay the City of Orlando more than $5.475 million for Parcel M, a 1.6-acre piece of land in Creative Village for a market rate housing project, although at least one other local developer disputes the project’s validity.

Also known as Lot 3, Parcel M is located at the southwest corner of Amelia St. and Terry Ave., directly north of an upcoming 15-story student tower and west of the planned central park area.

The land contract for Parcel M was forwarded to the City Council on Nov. 13 for the downtown development’s master developer Creative Village Development LLC to exercise its purchase option to acquire and develop parcels. Craig Ustler, president of the Ustler Development, also happens to be a lead figure in the company responsible for managing the 68-acre downtown development.

Still in the concept planning stage, the market-rate housing project involves the construction of an apartment building with ground-floor retail. The building will have a total of 390 apartments, 6,000 sq ft. of commercial space and a food hall with a large patio overlooking a portion of the central park. Upon its scheduled opening in August 2019, the development will become the fourth or fifth building to rise in the downtown campus of the University of Central Florida.

Another lot in Creative Village, Parcel U, is set for market-rate housing development. It was marketed by Jones Lang LaSalle Orlando to third-party developers and call for offers already concluded in late July 2017. A buyer has not been chosen yet.

Uster Development’s JV partner has not also been publicly announced. “They are an experienced, well-known and highly qualified company that has done a lot of top notch urban projects in Orlando, other cities in Florida and other places,” said Ustler.

Premier-Nelson Group Inc. president Thomas Nelson has disputed the validity of the transaction, asserting that his business should be in line to acquire and develop the property. Nelson has waged an ongoing email message campaign asserting his claims.

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