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Windermere Observer Wednesday, Apr. 6, 2016 3 years ago

Tavistock presents revised plan for Isleworth retail space

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The development company changed gears with its proposed architectural style for the new building near Isleworth and Four Corners.
by: Danielle Hendrix Associate Editor

SOUTHWEST ORANGE  Nearly three months after an initial community meeting, a proposed development in the southwest quadrant of Isleworth and Four Corners is still a hot topic.

The Jan. 6 meeting sent Tavistock Development Company employees back to the drawing board regarding the project’s architecture. At a community meeting March 28 at Southwest Middle, Tavistock staff and Orange County officials presented Windermere residents with a new look.

The proposed two-story building, which will be located at the intersection of Conroy-Windermere and Apopka-Vineland roads by The Grove shopping center, still includes both commercial and office space, along with what will be a drive-through coffee shop. Plans still include 15,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor, but reduced the upstairs office space slightly from 16,500 to 16,000 square feet.

Additionally, staff presented new architectural designs. Original renderings depicted a contemporary-style building with multiple windows, awnings and glass features; however, residents expressed their displeasure with the style in the previous meeting, charging that the style did not fit at all with the current nearby architecture.

The new style still boasts multiple windows but comes with a more toned-down, Mediterranean look, painted with warm colors. It also includes an outdoor patio-seating area, and the drive-thru is fully covered. 

“Everything is growing, this is a fast-growing community and keeping up with that is very important.” — S. Scott Boyd

“I like the improvement and the fact that it’s getting closer to what we have in this area,” a resident said of the new renderings.

However, although most residents in attendance agreed the new architecture is better and blends in with the surrounding area more than the previous version, some brought up that since the land parcel is located in the Windermere rural district, it should take on the more traditional, rural look that is character of many buildings in Windermere and Gotha.

One problem residents have shown concern with involves a violation of Four Corners CVC code, which states that drive-through restaurants are not permitted in the area. An exception in the past was granted for the current drive-through Panera Bread at The Grove. With drive-throughs come additional traffic, perhaps the biggest concern of all. 

However, the building will have a completely internal parking lot that does not connect directly to Conroy-Windermere or Apopka-Vineland roads, and Tavistock staff assured residents that the drive-through coffee shop will have a long queue line for busy hours.

“There’s plenty of room for cars to queue without impeding the immediate parking area,” said Heather Isaacs, Tavistock planning and entitlement manager.

Other items talked about regarding traffic included the possibility of inserting a traffic light near the intersection of Conroy-Windermere Road and the post office to help mitigate traffic concerns that could arise turning left out of The Grove and the new building. District 1 Commissioner S. Scott Boyd said he would get together with the Orange County Public Works department to look into conducting fresh traffic counts, speeds and other traffic issues.

“Everything is growing,” Boyd said. “This is a fast-growing community, and keeping up with that is very important.”

The proposed development is not yet scheduled to go before the Orange County Board of County Commissioners, but Isaacs said Tavistock hopes to be able to present it within the next two months.

 

Contact Danielle Hendrix at [email protected].

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