The cities of Winter Garden, Orlando and Apopka received the largest property value increases across Orange County in the past year, according to tax roll data released Wednesday by Property Appraiser Rick Singh.

Orange County's tax roll grew by 9.2 percent overall in 2015, totaling $108.12 billion in 2016 Estimated Taxable Value (ETV), driven by a mix of new construction across the county and strong value gains for existing commercial property, Singh said. New construction value added $2.8 billion to the tax roll.

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Among the county's 13 cities and towns, Winter Garden posted the largest percentage growth for its taxable value in the past year with 13.2 percent, resulting in more than $1 million in increased tax revenues, and a 2016 ETV of $2.74 billion.

"We've been no. 1 in the county or close to it just about every year of late, it's been a really hot market here both for commercial and residential," city manager Michael Bollhoefer told GrowthSpotter on Wednesday.

"We had some high-end residential development along Marsh Road that came onto the tax roll, and several small corporate headquarters come into the area that helped property values. Those have been our target, not going after super-large companies but targeting those employers of 50 to 100. Being a smaller community it's harder to compete with the City of Orlando for those larger companies, but we also benefit from not putting all our eggs in one basket."

Winter Garden issued 570 new single-family home construction permits in 2015, up from 438 new home permits the year prior.

The city annexed 65 acres in 2015 from unincorporated Orange County, much of it undeveloped, which sets Winter Garden up for continued tax roll growth. It also had 127 acres of former orange grove along Marsh Road rezoned from Agricultural earlier this year to Urban Village PUD, with up to 107 single-family lots planned by K. Hovnanian Homes.

Coming in second for tax roll growth was City of Orlando at 11.3 percent, to $24.84 billion. Singh attributed Orlando's growth to a wave of new apartment projects across the city and urban infill lot development.

Ranking third was Apopka, where the tax roll increased by 8.5 percent to $2.63 billion, with roughly $99 million in new construction, up 41 percent from 2014. Unlike many of the county's cities that saw growth driven by residential, Apopka's new industrial was a key contributor, said Mark Reggentin, community development director.

Cooper Industrial Park, in South Apopka southeast of S.R. 451 and Johns Road, saw the CPS Sports Complex opened by builder and developer Michael R. Cooper Construction, one of multiple industrial buildings finished last year.

On the commercial/retail side, Wekiva Riverwalk, a 229,735-square-foot power center located on the northwest corner of Wekiva Springs Road and E. Semoran Boulevard (S.R. 436) in Apopka, had outparcels added with multiple new tenants taking occupancy in the second half of 2015.

Looking ahead to this year, industrial growth for Apopka's tax roll should continue, as Michael Cooper recently received his Certificate of Occupancy for a 40,000-square-foot space, and is currently building another large building for Kenpat Construction, Reggentin said.

"We're now dealing with getting entitlements set for many residential development projects, moving those through the approval process with a lot of infrastructure work to follow," he told GrowthSpotter. "There's been enhanced interest in our downtown area, and ancillary growth expected near the future Florida Hospital Apopka that is slated to open in 2017."

Following Apopka, the Walt Disney Company's two cities of Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista combined for an average tax roll growth of 8 percent, and $9.16 billion in 2016 ETV.

Rounding out the rest of Orange County's cities were Winter Park with 7.8 percent tax roll growth ($4.86 billion in 2016 ETV), Ocoee with 7.5 percent growth ($2.08 billion), Maitland up 7.3 percent (to $$2.35 billion), Belle Isle with 3.9 percent growth ($635.79 million), Windermere up 4.7 percent (to $$616.42 million), Edgewood with 3.9 percent growth ($301.41 million), Oakland up 3.1 percent (to $220.75 million), and Eatonville up 6.9 percent ($197.03 million).

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

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