An Orlando-based urban planning and architecture firm is seeking to transform vacant lakefront land west of Winter Park into a mixed-use master plan development with apartments, condos, offices and retail space.
Le-Huu Partners has filed a pre-application meeting request with Orange County to review possibilities for the 18.3-acre site along Lake Fairview near Orlando’s Packing District, just south of where Orange Blossom Trail intersects with N. John Young Parkway and S.R. 423.
According to application materials, Le-Huu is eyeing four parcels for new development, including one it currently owns. Half of the land is zoned for C-1, which is restricted to retail commercial uses. The other half is zoned C-2, which allows for general commercial and certain residential uses.
Kha Le-Huu, owner of Le-Huu Partners, told GrowthSpotter the plan is to change the future land-use designation for all of the parcels to C-2 to allow more flexibility and then pursue a planned development approach. He’s calling the project Lake Fairview West Shore.
“We want something that makes sense for the area,” he said. “We want to do something that is thoughtful and noble when it comes to the design, but also in terms of the mixed use concept that will accommodate the area.”
Application documents submitted to the county propose buildings with a maximum height of 50 feet, with setbacks of 50 feet from the lake and 25 feet from the main road.
Three of the parcels are owned by entities led by To-Lan Trinh-Le of Orlando, according to the Florida Division of Corporations. Those entities paid a total of $236,500 for the parcels in 2011 and 2018, property records show.
Le-Huu Partners owns the other 4-acre parcel, buying it in 1997 for $120,000.
If the rezoning request is approved, Le-Hu said the company would tab a developer to build out a mixed-use concept where people can live, work and play along the shore of a 405-acre lake.
“The way the city and the county is growing, it’s the right time to do this,” Le-Huu said in a phone call.
The Fairview Lake marina sits on property to the north while the Grills Lakeside restaurant and the 50-unit, five-story Fairview Grande condominium rise are to the south. Development plans were filed for a future phase to the condo property, but they are on hold, according to the city of Orlando.
The site of the planned Lake Fairview West Shore is northwest of Orlando’s Packing District, a 202-acre stretch of historically industrial land in Orlando that’s being redeveloped to feature a mix of luxury apartments, townhomes, businesses and restaurants.
Under development by Dr. Phillips Charities as part of an estimated $480-million project, the Packing District is envisioned to one day feature 3,500 residential units and more than one million square feet of retail and office space.
In late 2017, Dr. Phillips Charities announced its gift of more than 100 acres of land adjacent to the District to the City of Orlando to make way for a regional park that would serve as a hub for wellness programs and provide a site for amenities, including the city’s tennis center, bike trails, running trails and more.
In September, the 4R Foundation submitted its rezoning application for the 4Roots Farm Campus on 18 acres in the city park. Earlier this summer the City Council approved the lease and conceptual plan. The urban farm would feature standard and hydroponic greenhouses, a Discovery Center with classroom spaces and event barn. The plans also include shops, a cafe and a farm-to-table restaurant where guests can enjoy meals designed around seasonal availability of produce grown directly on the campus.
A 17,300 sq. ft. food hall is planned in the historic Southern Box building near the corner of Orange Blossom Trail and Princeton Street. The Packing District Food Hall will house 11 vendors chosen by the operator, Hospitality HQ, representing a diverse offering of food with a focus on immigrant cuisine. HQ Hospitality will provide comprehensive support including menu engineering, marketing, and accounting to the local chefs and their businesses.
A Publix is slated to move into a 27,512-square -foot supermarket space in the Packing District, located at the northeast corner of Princeton Street and Orange Blossom Trail.
With so much activity occurring in the surrounding area, the land along Lake Fairview “is just asking for something to happen,” Le-Hu said.
The global portfolio for Le-Huu Partners includes the Marine Science Center in New Smyrna Beach, Florida Atlantic University’s Hibel Museum of Art, and several mixed-use commercial projects including Miami Bay Road Boutique and Miami City Retail. The company has also designed several buildings in Vietnam, including the Cho Ray Hospital Annex.
In Orlando, the company’s portfolio includes the Orange County History Museum & Plaza and the Celebration Town Center near Disney World.