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West Orange Times & Observer Thursday, May 28, 2015 5 years ago

Walmart, Publix confirmed for Hamlin retail development

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by: Zak Kerr Staff Writer/Reporter

HORIZON WEST — In a press release May 28 in Orlando, officials at Boyd Development Corporation announced three distinct developments that will begin by the end of this year in the Hamlin community of Horizon West.

A roughly 400,000-square-foot retail development will include a 193,000-square-foot Walmart Supercenter on a 50-acre property at the northern end of Hamlin on New Independence Parkway, right by the State Road 429 exit there. That development will feature five or six smaller stores — which will range from 15,000 to 30,000 square feet — and some even smaller retailers and restaurants, according to the release.

A second retail center will be 200,000 square feet and have a 54,000-square-foot Publix supermarket, with construction scheduled to begin this fall in preparation for a potential summer 2016 opening.

The cornerstone of the third development will be a 12-screen luxury movie theater — the first of many, project media representative Nanci Schwartz said. One of the five biggest theater operators in the world will control this first theater in what officials have dubbed a lifestyle center, with an opening possible by Christmas 2016. Other features in plans for this center include some waterfront restaurants, a large boardwalk, publicly accessible lakefront parks and outdoor event venues.

The boardwalk will overlook Lake Hancock with the intentions of making this area a popular destination in Central Florida for various forms of recreation, Schwartz said.

This is all part of the 750-acre master-planned development of Hamlin, which developers call a master-planned mixed-use community centered on Lake Hancock for both commercial and residential aspects of the project.

“Our goal at Hamlin is to engage our community by providing great experiences along our main streets, our lakefront boardwalks and parks, and various amenities throughout the town center,” said Scott T. Boyd, president of Boyd Development Corp. “Once completed, Hamlin will feature over 1 million square feet of retail, restaurant and office space surrounded by a number of single-family as well as multi-family residential communities. Our desire is for Hamlin to become one of Central Florida’s favorite destinations to dine, shop and relax.”

Plans are for 800,000 of those 1 million feet to be retail, according to plans.

Boyd Development Corp. submitted two proposals regarding Hamlin to the Board of County Commissioners for its May 5 meeting, with both gaining unanimous approval.

The first was to use 66.35 acres for a subdivision plan on the south side of New Independence Parkway, east of State Road 429, said John Smogor, Orange County planning administrator. A three-lot commercial subdivision is planned for that lot.

The other plan was for 64.11 acres on the north side of New Independence Parkway — across the road — to construct four commercial lots and a 1,379-square-foot convenience store with associated fuel stations, Smogor said. That is the lot where Walmart will be.

Horizon West residents have expressed concerns about a Walmart in the area.

“On the site, there’s major concerns about Walmart building so close to the Independence and Hamlin communities,” Horizon West resident Amelia Otlowski said at the May 5 meeting. “Just considering that Walmart — just the parking lots have crime statistics, and also there is a strong correlation between that and lowering and depreciation of house values.”

District 1 Orange County Commissioner S. Scott Boyd responded that there had been much discussion and planning on roadway connections in that area.

“I know that a lot of you that live in Independence have had concerns about traffic coming down (New) Independence Parkway and making its way down to Tiny (Road),” S. Scott Boyd said. “And with this road’s network, what that will be able to do is eliminate a lot of that concern for most of you out there.”

Jim Willard, attorney for the Boyd Development Corp., said plans for the extension of Hamlin Groves Trail to the north would extend beyond New Independence Parkway north and east to tie into Tiny Road, approximately a mile-and-a-half in length.

“Plans are proceeding to initiate construction on the developers’ portion immediately north of New Independence Parkway, and most of the plans, including the road network, have been approved,” Willard said.

Information about the Hamlin community and its development updates can be found at www.HamlinFl.com or on Facebook.

Contact Zak Kerr at [email protected].

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