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Business Observer Wednesday, Jun. 8, 2022 3 weeks ago

160 more build-to-rent homes coming to Fort Myers

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Developers to start construction on a second build-to-rent community within The Forum later this year.
by: Louis Llovio Commercial Real Estate Editor

The developers behind the Odyssey by Soltura in Fort Myers are moving ahead with a second phase for the build-to-rent community, building an additional 160 homes.

The development, to be called Altair by Soltura, will be about a half-mile west of the first phase in the Fort Myers master-planned community The Forum.

Naples private equity firm Halstatt Real Estate Partners and Soltura Development Group are developing the property.

A spokesperson for Halstatt would not disclose how much the company is investing in the project or the costs to develop the second phase. “But Halstatt has made a significant investment to bring attainable rental housing to the SWFL community across both the phase one and phase two projects.”

The second phase of the project will include the 160 one-, two- and three-bedroom single-family rental homes with private backyards and outdoor patio space adding 533 square feet of space to each unit. The community itself, which will sit on about 12 acres, will include a clubhouse, community social and fitness programming, a pool, a fire pit and a dog park.

According to the website for the first phase of the Odyssey at Soltura, floor plans start at 750 square feet and top out at 1,235 square feet. Rent ranges from $1,974 per month to $3,199 per month.

Construction on the second phase is scheduled to begin later this year and to last about a year.

The first phase of the project was made up of 129 homes. Construction is just about done and the first resident should start moving in in July.

That phase was built using $26 million in construction financing from George Smith Partners Inc. in Los Angeles.

Build-to-rent communities have been sprouting up across the region, a trend likely to continue as housing prices continue rising and, even when they do slow, will likely remain out of reach for many consumers. 

Aside from pricing, for many the attraction to these communities is more than fiscal. The homes are seen as a way for residents to get the benefits of suburban living and home ownership without the burdens.

Walker & Dunlop, a commercial real estate finance firm with a build-to-rent practice, say the market is estimated at $3.4 trillion compared to $3.5 trillion for the multifamily market.

Danville Leadbetter, a co-founder of Soltura Development Group, says in a statement that “we are seeing accelerated demand being driven by demographic shifts and changing living preferences of renters due to older millennials seeking more space and an affordable living solution.”

Soltura Development is a Naples company formed by Leadbetter and Arron Simon in 2020.

Halstatt is the investment firm for the Sproul family of Naples, descendants of Barron G. Collier, the namesake of Collier County, who also was a founding member of Interpol, the international police agency. Since its inception, Halstatt has been involved in more than $1 billion worth of real estate projects and other investments.

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