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Winter Park picks bid for 'Blake Yard' infill site, nets extra $25k in process

Winter Park picks bid for 'Blake Yard' infill site, nets extra $25k in process
Highlighted in blue is the 0.45-acre parcel at 301 W. Comstock Ave., two blocks south of W. New England Avenue. (Orange County Property Appraiser)

Winter Park city commissioners voted Monday to sell the 0.45-acre "Blake Yard" infill site near its downtown to an affiliate of local developer Dan Bellows, following a third round of bids that netted the city an additional $25,000.

Located at 301 W. Comstock Ave. just one-and-a-half blocks from Park Avenue, the site was pursued in recent months by Winter Park Redevelopment Agency, Ltd., an affiliate of Sydgan Corporation developer Bellows, and local general contractor Rowland & Company featuring architecture by Phil Kean Design Group.

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The city's real estate broker CBRE was charged with marketing the property after a May 8 decision by commissioners to reject the first two rounds of bids from both parties, due to lack of clarity in the Notice of Disposal (NOD) over bidding rules.

CBRE contacted the two bidders to see if they were still interested. Both submitted their third bid by May 16, with Bellows' affiliate bidding $481,000, and Rowland's offer at $467,500.

Both exceeded the $450,000 minimum set by an appraisal last year, and Bellows' bid was $25,000 more than his high bid of the second round.

Bellows' affiliate also offered to pay cash for the property, close in 30 days, and agreed to save existing oak trees on the western property line.

The developer's original concept plan for the site involves two duplexes or a single fourplex with 2,000-square-foot townhomes.

Bellows told GrowthSpotter on Tuesday he's excited to finally acquire the small parcel, which he has pursued for years from the city. It was Bellows who originally assembled the surrounding property more than 15 years ago and got it entitled for David Weekley's townhomes project.

Those high-value townhomes prompted the city to relocate its "Blake Yard" storage site. Townhomes and single-family homes built around the property have sold for $599,000 or more in recent years.

Bellows said there is probably up to a year ahead of city ordinance and permit approvals before construction could start on the homes. His team must still produce a site plan and and elevations in the coming months.

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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