Altamonte Springs developer and civil engineer Richard Wohlfarth has a purchase contract for nearly 163 acres on Kissimmee's Lake Tohopekaliga shoreline and plans to develop a new mixed-use community that will be cradled by the Shingle Creek Regional Trail.
Wohlfarth of Wohlfarth Consulting Group and his development partner, Gary Singer, met Tuesday with Kissimmee's Development Review Committee to discuss the project they're calling Osceola Village Center. They've applied for a major land use change and Mixed-Use Planned Unit Development (PUD) zoning for the property, which is located on John Young Parkway, south of downtown Kissimmee.
The developers are seeking entitlements and zoning to allow for both commercial and residential uses. The road frontage is currently zoned Highway Commercial, and Wohlfarth plans to dedicate about 12.5 acres for retail, restaurants and other commercial uses.
The conceptual plan also calls for a 316-unit apartment complex, about 200 townhomes and 127 detached single-family homes on 40x110 foot lots.
Wohlfarth's conceptual plan leaves about 70 acres -- almost half of the property -- undisturbed. He plans to build a 15-acre lake separating the developed areas from the wetlands, and to build a 10-foot wide trail along the internal lake with trailhead connections to the public trail that encircles the perimeter of the property.
"Our goal will be to put in walkways behind our units, and we hope to directly connect to the trail," he told GrowthSpotter. He also wants to build platforms overlooking the lake and wetlands. "We think it'll be a nice amenity."
Wohlfarth and Singer said they anticipate there will be multiple builders involved. They hope to clear permitting and zoning approvals by September with the goal of moving dirt in the fall.
The commercial development will likely follow the residential and multifamily. The conceptual plan lays out four commercial lots ranging in size from about 2 acres to a 6.6-acre site suitable for big box or grocery-anchored retail.
"We're still about a month away from marketing those parcels," Wohlfarth said. It's possible the first commercial pads could be developed concurrently with the residential, he added.
The land use and zoning changes are scheduled to go to the city's Planning Advisory Board on May 15 and to the City Commission by August.
Last year the Florida Department of Transportation paid just over $1 million for the right of way along Shingle Creek and Lake Toho for the trail extension. The "Yates Connector" for longtime land owners Cecil and Bobbie Yates, the trail will connect the SCRT to Kissimmee's Lakeview Park.
The regional trail project spans 32 miles across both Osceola and Orange counties and through the cities of Orlando and Kissimmee. The Kissimmee portion of the trail will continue north along Lake Tohopekaliga until it connects to the city's Lakefront Park. The trail also crosses John Young Parkway onto the city-owned Lancaster Ranch property and loops around the future 163-acre city park.
Orange County is also prepping for a new section extending along the Shingle Creek canal from Taft Vineland Road up to S.R. 528.
Wohlfarth's development company is also active in Orange and Lake counties. He's planning 70-acre mixed-use development called Ocoee Village Center on Clarcona Ocoee Road. He also expects to start construction this summer on Silver Lake Club, a 233-home subdivision on the site of the dormant Silver Lake Golf and Country Club in Leesburg.