HDSi has been working on a new community for DRH since October in Groveland. The 1,500 acre property is entitled into two different forms of community; Village and hamlet. Each has a Form based Code to set development standards. The Village is more dense than the Hamlet but each require a pedestrian community orientation. For the Village, the land is low and flat with some mature tree stands. HDSi used this natural condition to create a community of linked neighborhoods by street and trails as well a Village core with commercial, apartments, town homes and bungalows. For the Hamlet, the Code requires significant open space for the rolling land. HDSi created two neighborhoods separated by lowland in a classic grid arrangement. The Village will be submitted for first review in September.
Lennar Homes closed this week on the first takedown for the Wellness Way master-planned community, which comprised a little over half of the approved 1,850 single-family home lots in the Clermont mixed-use district.
Seller Jim Karr said Lennar paid $20.7 million for the entitled land and is expected to close on the balance of the project in two years. Karr said his company would keep all of the land west of Hancock Road, which is entitled for commercial, multifamily and employment use.
“Lennar is going to be putting in Wellness Way and bringing utilities down from Clermont,” Karr said. The builder also will extend Hancock Road from Hartwood Marsh south to Wellness Way. “This is the first step of a network that will be built with roads and utilities,” he said.
Karr said he spent years negotiating with neighboring property owners and swapping land so that he could acquire all of the necessary right-of-way, which will be donated to the county in exchange for impact fee credits. Jim Hall of HDSi assisted Karr and provided all community design and entitlements for the project.
The residential portion of the community east of Hancock is approved only for detached single-family homes and townhomes. The lot widths range from 18 feet wide for the townhomes up to 70 feet wide for the detached single-family homes.
“We’ll have six different housing products: street-loaded townhomes with single car garage; alley-loaded townhomes with double garage; cottage homes and manor homes that are alley-loaded, and estates and executive homes that are street-loaded,” he said. “There will be innovative features incorporated into the community, as the area suggests.”
The homebuilder’s Next Gen floorplans will also be available in the community. They are designed to appeal to multi-generational buyers by incoprorating a guest suite with a separate entrance, living area and kitchenette, within the house.
All of the homes will offer Lennar’s “Everything’s Included” package, which includes smart home technology, upgraded finishes and energy-efficient features. But designs and pricing won’t be released until next year, at the earliest.
The PUD identifies a 10-acre amenity site on Wellness Way, as well as numerous public and private parks. It also reserves 15 acres for a future charter school and 1.5 acres for a new fire station.
Dual apartment complexes are being planned around Medicine Lake in Apopka.
While Winter Park-based real estate firm First Team Commercialworks to score final site plan permits for its planned 304-unit apartment community at 2302 Ocoee-Apopka Rd., the property owners just south are beginning to prep their land for a similar development.
According to an application submitted in Apopka, property owners David and Michelle Leon are seeking to change the future land use designation of 17.85 acres to allow for a new apartment complex with entitlements to build up to 352 multifamily units.
Currently, the maximum allowable use on the site would be 211 residential dwelling units. The Leons appointed planning consultant Jim Hall of Hall Development Services to change the current land use to High-Density Residential 25 (HDR-25), allowing a developer to build an additional 141 units.
The property is located on the west side of Ocoee-Apopka Road and Keene Road intersection, less than a mile away from the AdventHealth Apopka hospital at 2100 Ocoee-Apopka Road.
In a statement submitted to city planners, Hall said a PUD will be proposed after the map amendment and prior to transmittal hearings. Hall confirmed the plans are meant to accommodate future multifamily development but did not respond to questions regarding a future purchaser and developer.
Just north of the site, on 16.5 acres north of Medicine Lake, First Team Commercial plans to build a seven-building, garden-style apartment community. The property owners are related to the family members that founded Herman J. Heidrich & Sons, a prominent fruit and produce business that grew into Florida’s largest shipper of fresh fruit in the 1960s.
According to Preservation Winter Park, a blog run by members of an organization of the same name that supports preservation efforts, both properties were originally owned by members of the Gwathmey family, who had been physicians and citrus growers in the area in the late 1930s.
Around 2005 the Leons moved a house, built on the property that the organization strongly suspects was built and designed by architect James Gamble Rogers in 1938. According to the blog article, a developer previously offered to purchase the land surrounding Medicine Lake with plans for multifamily development, but the deal fell through after the 2008 recession.
After two years of negotiating, six public meetings and a myriad of issues large and small, the Town Council approved the 2 acre redevelopment on Main Street last night in a unanimous vote. Jim Hall of HDSi is the team leader on this project for long time client Jim Karr and his partners. The existing realty building and three shops will be razed to make way for 21,750 square feet of new development which will include a restaurant, retail and office space.
A key to the project is preserving large live oaks on site as well as a state of the art septic system. The proposal follows the Town’s 2004 downtown overlay in all respects. This redevelopment will be a significant upgrade for the Town’s downtown.
HDSi is pleased to announce our third anniversary of business. While 2020 will be remembered for a myriad of reasons, to HDSi it was a watershed year of successfully completed projects under stressful conditions. This has continued in 2021 with hopefully the significant reduction of the pandemic as the year progresses. To all of our clients, team members and associated professionals, HDSi proudly congratulates them on jobs well done.
New mixed-use districts in Osceola are being planned for 14,000-plus homes
APR 23, 2021 AT 4:39 PM
Osceola County is wrapping up the master planning effort for its two final mixed-use districts. District 5 abuts the South Lake Toho element, which have already been approved. The 365-acre Yates assemblage, circled in white, could be added to the final plan. (Rj Whidden and Associates). Jim Hall of HDSi represents the largest land owner in the study with over 5,000 acres.
Osceola County is in the final stretch of a two-year planning effort that will determine how large swaths of rural land south of St. Cloud develop over the next decade as the region’s population growth continues at its torrid pace.
The county engaged planning firm RJ Whidden in 2019 to create the Conceptual Master Plan (CMP) for the Mixed-Use Districts 5 and 6, the final two districts in the county’s urban service area. The 8,517-acre study area stretches from the Florida’s Turnpike east along the Alligator Chain of Lakes to U.S. 192 at Old Melbourne Highway.
After a series of online information meetings led by Assistant Community Development Administrator Susan Caswell, the county will host a series of three hourlong in-person open house sessions Tuesday evening, April 27, at the St. Cloud Marina banquet hall beginning at 6 pm to get feedback on the initial draft CMP, which calls for 14,010 residential units in compact, walkable neighborhoods.
“What I mean about walkable is not that they have a sidewalk,” Caswell said. “They need more than that. Basically, they’re designed in a way that you can walk to places.”
Kindred, Tohoqua and Edgewater are three communities in various stages of development within the East of Toho Mixed-Use District. Tavistock Development Group is implementing the county’s Northeast District Element to become its new Sunbridge community.
“These places are interesting. And you know, that’s just a straightforward quality of life issue,” Caswell said. “They function well. They have a mix of uses, they have places to gather. They have nice residential services that serve residential at different scales.”
Some projects within Districts 5 and 6, such as Ameratrail, Lake Gentry Landings and Pine Grove already have approved mixed-use concept plans. Those have already been incorporated into the draft CMP. But adopting a CMP doesn’t necessarily mean the areas will develop any sooner. The Lake Gentry Landings Concept Plan was approved in 2014.
And the massive Green Island Ranch property makes up a large portion of the county’s South Lake Toho Element. It has had entitlements for up to 17,000 residential units since the CMP was adopted in 2009.
“What’s important to understand is this is not a development program. This is a long-term plan,” Caswell said. “We’re not dictating when this area develops. We’re dictating how it develops, so that when that happens, which is more based on market forces than anything we do, it will happen according to the rules we set in place.”
The properties marked blue are already in the mixed use district. The parcels marked yellow currently have Low Density Residential future land use, but they could be added to the district when the conceptual master plan is adopted. (Osceola County)
Some landowners on the western edge of District 5, adjacent to the Green Island Ranch, have inquired about having their property added to the CMP. KPM Franklin’s Murry Bullion represents a local land developer who is under contract for about 365 acres at Canoe Creek Road and Fannie Bass Road.
Several of the parcels in the assemblage are already in the MXD, but the largest parcel, owned by Henry C. Yates, currently has Low Density Residential future land use. It’s just east of the proposed interchange between the Turnpike and future SouthShore Expressway toll road, which calls for a more intense, urban development pattern.
This map shows the proximity of the Yates assemblage to the future turnpike interchange and urban center and future industrial park in the South Lake Toho CMP. (Osceola County)
Bullion told the DRC the buyers want to seek mixed-use future land use and zoning to build a community with up to 1,000 homes.
Bullion told GrowthSpotter they initially looked at doing 3,000 dwelling units but realized that density would be unrealistic, given the amount of floodplains and wetlands on the site. The portions of the site that were included in the study area reserve large amounts for conservation. He said he plans to attend the open house Tuesday and will schedule follow-up meetings with county staff regarding how to incorporate the Yates property in the plan.
The CMP creates a framework for future road networks, including future phases of the Northeast Connector toll road, which would extend from the turnpike north to Nova Road. The Central Florida Expressway Authority is currently conducting a Project Development and Environment study (PD&E) for the NE Connector segment from Nova Road north into Sunbridge.
Caswell said the CMP also would create public parks and nature preserves along the Alligator Chain of Lakes and its canals.
The draft CMP shows a few potential sites for urban centers, but it doesn’t include calculations for future multifamily residential housing, offices or other commercial spaces. Those numbers will be added later, after the public workshops.