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A Miami-based developer is continuing to make moves in the Build-to-Rent market in Polk County and the greater Orlando area. South Florida-based MAS Development is introducing a new line of duplex cottages to a 164-unit subdivision to be built in Winter Haven. They’re also developing BTR communities in Kissimmee in Osceola County; Deltona in Volusia County; and Wildwood in Sumter County near The Villages. The Winter Haven project is the latest to be announced.

“We’re bullish on Polk County because of the continued high employment and high population growth and the demand for rental housing,” MAS director of acquisitions Nico Chami told GrowthSpotter. “We want to give our tenants an attainable lifestyle and the option to live in Winter Haven.”

This developer is focusing on the BTR market and expanding into cottages as well as townhomes because the market demand for rentals is only increasing due to high-interest rates, home prices, and lack of supply. Also, renters want privacy and a touch of luxury without hassles. Build-to-Rent subdivisions are one of the fastest-growing trends in real estate. Approximately 6.9% of new single-family homes starting in 2022 were purpose-built rentals, according to a recent report from RCLCO. Most BTR communities in Central Florida consist of traditional platted subdivisions, single-story cottage-style homes with private yards with access to upscale amenities, or townhomes.

Here’s an overview of MAS’ ongoing projects:

Winter Haven: MAS plans to build 164 units in duplex cottages in a development called the Vistas of Lake Hamilton. It’ll be on the northwestern shore of Lake Hamilton, which is one of Winter Haven’s larger lakes. The neighborhood will be a mix of 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom homes, 650 to 1,050 square feet, and rents from $1,400 to $2,000 per month. They’ll be single-story homes with private backyards. The development will have a clubhouse, swimming pool, cabanas, fitness center, playground, dog park, and potentially a pickleball court. “We’re going to offer natural walking trails that lead to Lake Hamilton,” Chami said. “There’ll be a shack with paddle boards, kayaks, canoes, and fishing rods for the tenants to enjoy the natural amenities.” MAS is under contract to buy the property in question, which is vacant land on the east side of Lake Hamilton Drive and bordering the 2,100-acre lake. They hope to close it later this year and start construction in early 2024. The property has been annexed into the city of Winter Haven and rezoned from commercial to residential. “We’re targeting the local workforce, young singles, couples, empty nesters, and even retirees that are prevalent in the area,” Chami said. “We offer that single-story home feeling for would-be future homebuyers who can’t afford to buy a home at this time, given interest rates and affordability.”


Deltona: Just last month, MAS closed on the purchase of 36 acres just west of the intersection of Howland and Catalina boulevards, about a mile east of Interstate 4. MAS paid $4 million and closed on the property on Feb. 21. The seller (who was also the broker) was Daryl Carter with Orlando-based Maury L. Carter & Associates. They’re planning a BTR development called Catalina Pointe — 277 units, of which 189 are single-story cottages, and the remaining 88 are townhomes with garages.

March 09, 2023
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