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Selnik Development plans lakefront townhomes in bustling Horizon West area

After originally being tied to a plan to build a five-story apartment complex on undeveloped lakefront land in Horizon West, Orlando-based Selnik Development, LLC is now moving in a different direction for the 33-acre parcel.

This time, a zoning change request submitted to Orange County involves the construction of 110 single family dwelling units — 93 attached townhomes and 17 detached houses.

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The parcel at 5504 Winter Garden-Vineland Road, along Lake Cawood, is across the street from Windermere High. It’s currently zoned for R-CE (country estate district) but has an underlying Future Land Use Map designation of Village, indicating that it is within the Horizon West Special Planning Area, according to the county.

Horizon West is one of the fastest growing master-planned communities in the United States. Features within the master-planned area include an 850-acre Town Center overlooking Lake Hancock and a planned 220-acre regional park that’s roughly a third of the size of New York City’s Central Park.

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The Selnik project received approval from the county’s development review commission on April 13. It is now set to go before the county’s planning and zoning commission.

Selnik Development did not return phone calls or emails seeking comment.

Erika Hughes with VHB, who’s leading the project’s civil engineering and planning, also could not be reached.

In August of 2020, plans were submitted for a proposed 375-unit multifamily community on the property.

At the time, the property was owned by a holding company led by businessman Frank J. Sharp III. He and his family purchased the land in the 1980s for $382,600, records show.

But in Dec. of 2021 — more than a year after the apartment complex concept emerged— the property was sold to Orlando-based Windermere Acquisition Company LLC for $8 million, records show.

However, the single family home concept was intact before the land sale was finalized. Two community meetings were held in September of 2021, when the plan called for 143 attached and detached residential units, records show.

Residents voiced opposition to that number, according to county documents, and by the time the next community meeting occurred the scope of the plan had been scaled back to its current number of dwelling units. The latest plan sets a maximum building height of 2 stories for both the townhomes and detached homes. That’s a reduction from an earlier version that would allowed for 4-story townhomes and 3-story detached homes.

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“The third community meeting on Feb. 23, which was attended by 16 residents, was for the applicant’s revised request for 110 attached and detached residential units which was viewed more favorably,” according to county documents.

Of the 33.68 acres of property, 14.94 are occupied by wetlands, leaving 17.74 acres developable, according to the developer’s land use plan.

If approved, the project could be constructed in phases, according to the submitted plan.

Selnik Development was founded in 1982 by Anil Thadani. In addition to development services, the company also structures and arranges debt and equity transactions, according to its website. In 2019, Selnik completed a 243-unit apartment complex in Gainesville called the Mayfair Apartments.

The company has partnered with developers to help build apartment communities in North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and Georgia.

The parcel sits within the Village of Bridgewater, one of the five villages underway in Horizon West. Bridgewater is the most populated of the villages with 10,450 approved residential units.

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All of the villages are a hotspot for development activity.

In March, GrowthSpotter reported about Winter Garden-based Boyd Development’s effort to change entitlements to allow for 100 multifamily units, 17,000 square feet of commercial space and up to 26 hotel rooms on a cluster of properties next to several educational institutions being planned in Horizon West.

The company is seeking development rights to build something akin to a small town center on properties at 17421, 17399 and 17301 Schofield Road.

Put together, the assemblage spans about 30 acres and lies directly west of the future Valencia College Horizon West campus. To the north of the property, physician and philanthropist Dr. Kiran Patel is supporting the development of the Orlando College of Osteopathic Medicine in Horizon West.

DHI Communities, a wholly-owned subsidiary of D.R. Horton that focuses on multifamily development, is planning its second apartment complex after the 2021 sale of its Ascend Waterleigh for $91.6 million, in Village I. The development company wants to build a new 270-unit garden-style apartment community, called Ascend at Avalon, on the northwest corner of Avalon Road and Lake Star Road, according to a recently filed Development Plan Review application.

A conceptual site plan shows nine, 3-story apartment buildings and a large central community clubhouse next to a pool.

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Meanwhile, Unicorp National Developments is planning to build 300 apartment units across five parcels of land totaling 139 acres on Avalon Road near Winter Garden. The developer will also make lots shovel-ready for as many as 250 single family homes.

The project, titled “Sutton Lakes PD,” also includes a 20,000 square-foot space for commercial use.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at (407)420-5058 or dwyatt@GrowthSpotter.com, or tweet me at @DustinWyattGS. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


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