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Windermere Observer Tuesday, Sep. 10, 2019 1 week ago

Unicorp announces The Mark tenants

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Horizon West residents recently heard about the latest tenants coming to a new Village F shopping center.
by: Tim Freed Managing Editor

A new shopping center in Horizon West Village F is shifting into focus.

Chuck Whittall, president of Unicorp National Developments Inc., met with dozens of Watermark residents Tuesday, Aug. 27, to discuss the new shopping center project called The Mark, coming soon to the corner of Seidel Road and Seton Creek Boulevard.

The project, which will include more than 112,000 square feet of in-line and outparcel space, is set to begin construction within the first quarter of 2020, Whittall said, and should be completed by the first quarter of 2021.

Tenants that have already signed letters of intent include grocery store Earth Fare, Starbucks, a brewery and grill house, Heartland Dental, Walgreens, Centra Care and 7-Eleven, Whittall said.  

The Learning Experience day care also is about to sign a lease, and there are several other miscellaneous restaurants and shops planned, he said.

“It’s a property we bought from the Walt Disney World Company,” Whittall said. “Walt Disney actually came to us and shared the property with us. They already had interest in it, so we made a deal with Disney, and it’s a great opportunity. We already built the Westside (Shoppes) project in Horizon West.”

The meeting last month gave many residents peace of mind about a property that had been left vacant for future development — until Unicorp acquired the property and announced plans for The Mark, resident Christa Gill said.

“For the past three or four years, we’ve all been concerned about what would be going in,” said Gill, who has lived in Watermark since 2015. “There was so much speculation and rumors going around. I would say the biggest sentiment that we have is relief. We’re so grateful that Unicorp came to speak with us, and (Whittall) was highly confident that all the tenants that he’s looking to sign on are all high-caliber, quality tenants that we would want in our community.”

Resident Ron Baumanis also was thrilled with the project but admitted there are some concerns among the residents.

“I thought that Chuck was fantastic — he did a really, really great job explaining what everything would look like and showing what the architectural designs looked like,” Baumanis said.

“It’s not going to be this big gigundo, block-up-everybody’s-neighborhood kind of construction, but it is going to cause noise, there’s going to be light pollution, and there’s signage that will glow in people’s house windows,” he said. “There’s a grocery store that’s planned 30 feet away from people’s houses and apartments. There are some concerns, and people raised those concerns at this meeting.”

Whittall said the project certainly will account for all those factors.

“We put a lot of landscaping around the project, which barriers in noise and light,” Whittall said. “Any shopping center is going to have lights and some traffic noise, but generally, it’s the traffic that’s already driving down the roads.”

Whittall said he’s pleased with the support for the project he has seen so far.

“I think it’s going to be a great amenity,” Whittall said. “I think it’s a great fit for the neighborhood.

“We’re going to build it upscale, very pedestrian-friendly, and we always try to make the community happy, and we’re sure they’re going to be happy with what we’re going to build,” he said.

Tim Freed is the Managing Editor for the West Orange Times & Observer and the Windermere Observer. He previously spent six years covering the Winter Park/Maitland area and is a graduate of the University of Central Florida....

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