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West Orange Times & Observer Monday, Apr. 24, 2017 5 months ago

Winter Garden expands planned townhome development

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A  proposed ordinance allowing an additional eight townhome units to a 24-townhome development passed its first hurdle during the April 13 commission meeting.
by: Gabby Baquero Staff Writer

WINTER GARDEN – Downtown Winter Garden might soon have even more townhomes available than anticipated.

A planned 24-townhome development, already approved Oct. 13, 2016 as ordinance 16-58, might be increased to 32 townhomes if the developer’s request to add eight more townhomes and 0. 36 acres passes city scrutiny during the second reading and public hearing scheduled the April 27 commission meeting. 

Located on the southeast corner of Park Avenue and Plant Street, the originally 1.15-acre development would then increase to 1.51 acres with a total of seven buildings holding 32 homes.

All the units will be three bedrooms and range in size from 2,100 to 2,500 square feet, said Franco Scala from F&J Developers, LLC. Twelve of them will be two-story units, 16 will be constructed as three-story units and four units will be two stories and include a loft, he added.

The property will have one entrance on Park Avenue and an exit on West Smith Street and begin construction within 120 to 150 days, said Scala. He estimates the entirety of the project will take 18 months to complete, but he envisions there will be a lot of demand for the townhouse once they are ready for move-in, given their location.

“It’s amazing because I’ve been developing in the Windermere area for a long time and nobody wanted to go to Winter Garden,” said Scala. “There was no appeal for developers, but now it’s the opposite. Now everyone wants to go out there.”

All eight additional townhome units on the newly rezoned 0.36 acres would be two stories. Half of them would front West Smith Street and half would face an internal courtyard. As part of the agreement, the developer would also provide a new sidewalk connection along West Smith Street and design internal walkways to accommodate the predicted increase in pedestrian traffic. 

According to city documents, the property currently harbors scattered trees and patches of grass but did recently have a vernacular style building demolished built in 1910 that most recently housed professional offices. The other building, also recently demolished, was a 700-square-foot residential structure built in 1955. 

“We’re looking forward to getting the project started. I’m excited and I think it’ll be a good addition to downtown Winter Garden,” Scala said. “They’re very excited as well to have a project of this caliber go downtown. And of course, my opinion it’ll change the landscaping of downtown in a good way.”

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Contact Gabby Baquero at [email protected]

 

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