Winter Garden church buys land in Hamlin for new building, seeks design team

A view of the Harvest Bible Chapel Winter Garden service, currently held on Sundays at a local high school.

An affiliate of Harvest Bible Chapel Winter Garden paid $7 million on Friday for a site in west Orange County near Boyd Development's Hamlin Town Center, with plans to design and break ground on a new Christian church in 2018.

Located at 5300 Hamlin Groves Trail, the church bought 8.5 acres of a 25-acre parcel that features extensive frontage on S.R. 429, and lies directly south of a Publix-anchored retail center that is part of Hamlin's Town Center.


Harvest Bible Chapel has been active in west Orange for just over a year, launching in August 2016 with services at Bridgewater Middle School. It moved to Windermere High School this fall and now has a congregration of more than 200, said Charles Lindberg, treasurer of affiliate Sower's Satchel Foundation, Inc. and member of the church's finance committee.

"Being there in Hamlin will put us in the middle of one of the largest residential growth areas of Central Florida," he told GrowthSpotter. "There's no other church in that area currently, so we look forward to being the first and primary church serving that community for the next several years."


The sale closed on Dec. 22 and was recorded Thursday in Orange County.

Harvest Bible Chapel has yet to hire a civil engineer or architect, and over the next few weeks should pursue those choices so it can begin the design phase for what will be an initial 12,000- to 15,000-square-foot building, Lindberg said.

That initial building would only occupy about 2 acres, leaving the remaining 6.5 acres for an expansion phase that could include more church space or a Christian elementary school, he added.

Lindberg said the church's finance committee has forecasted a Phase 1 project cost of $3 million, not including land acquisition. A capital campaign will be undertaken this year to build up the needed equity, and no commercial loan is expected to be sought.

Harvest Bible Chapel anticipates a groundbreaking on the project by late Third Quarter 2018 or early Q4, Lindberg said.

"We're excited about the opportunity to serve the community, and look forward to being there in our permanent home by the end of 2019," he added.

Ken Kupp, partner at Boyd Development, said the land sale to the church is part of the company's effort to subdivide and sell off pieces of the 25-acre parcel that is sandwiched between S.R. 429 and Hamlin Groves Trail.

About three quarters of the remaining 15.5 acres are in discussions or under contract to parties for office and commercial uses, he said. Boyd has yet to start the subdivision filing process with Orange County.


Construction progress continues by Boyd Development on the 150-plus acres of Hamlin's Town Center directly north and northeast of the church site, where more than 1 million square feet of commercial space is planned.

At the intersection of Hamlin Groves Trail and New Independence Parkway, on the northwest quadrant a Walmart Supercenter is open and Boyd should start work on five inline retail buildings, parking lots and infrastructure in the next 45 to 60 days, Kupp said.

On the southwest quadrant, a Publix-anchored center is open, with four secondary retail buildings in varied stages of construction and a sixth to be added. Overall, 11 retail and dining buildings on the western side of the intersection should be completed by mid-2018, Kupp added.

On the northeast corner, two commercial tenants are committed and two more outparcels are being pursued. And on the southeast, the main lakefront outdoor mall has construction underway on a 10-screen Cinepolis movie theater that should open by June, and ground should break within 60 days on an adjacent parking garage and multi-tenant retail buildings, he said.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at, (407) 420-5685 or @bobmoser333. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.