Feltrim Group CEO Garrett Kenny is revising a plan to expand on his Balmoral Resort property in Haines City to add condo hotel, a brewery, a food hall and a culinary school.
A 2018 proposal that included a hotel was put on hold in 2020 because of the COVID global pandemic and since then, Kenny has added to the concept for 8 acres in front of the resort, he told GrowthSpotter. Balmoral is a 228-home resort at the southeast corner of U.S. 27 and U.S. 17-92. It includes a recently built 5,000-square-foot event center, and a sports complex with a 2,500-seat stadium, a field house and turf practice fields.
The hotel plan, which received approval before Covid, has been revised into condo residences and increased to 100 units from the original 85. Two types of units are planned and will be offered to investors, Kenny said. One group of condos will include more space, extra closets, and storage space to attract snowbirds who travel to Florida during winter months; the other units will be for travelers looking for more of an apartment-like rental for their stay in Haines City, Kenny said.
“We’ll call it The Retreat,” Kenny said. “That’s going to link into the event center at Balmoral,” giving resort guests smaller options for a few days verses the vacation homes already available in the community.
Two other buildings will house a food hall with craft brewery and a culinary school, Kenny said. Kenny submitted a site plan to Haines City about two weeks ago and will meet with city planners at the end of this month, he said.
A 2-story building will be home to the culinary school with a 16,000-square foot food court he hopes the culinary students will work in and further their careers. The concept in the food hall is to have about 10 restaurant areas already equipped with the most expensive start-up restaurant items such as vent hoods and lease them to vendors, Kenny said. In the brewery, Kenny said he is hoping to offer a local brew created just for Haines City. He doesn’t have a brewmaster yet.
Kenny plans to build a stage outside in the center of the retail, with artificial turf for kids to play and families to sit and eat and drink and listen to music.
“I’m trying to make it a destination people will come to” for training, for food and for entertainment, he said. “My vision for this is you can go in and have a coffee and pastry, you can have pizza, you can have chicken and wings. There will be a bar set up for the event area and of course, at the brewery, you can have food and a brew.”
Similar concepts exist around the country and Kenny said is planning to visit Colony Square in Atlanta to get more ideas. Feltrim is working with Dave Schmitt Engineering and Bio-Tech Consultant, both in Orlando; FDEP Southwest District in Temple Terrace; and AIP Design out of Winter Park. Kenny said he plans to build everything as one project and sees it opening in the first or second quarter 2024.
“Haines City is going through major growth. We think by bringing the concept of 10 different smaller facilities, it has worked in other locations,” he said. “I think we could have a winner on our hands by making it a destination.”
Feltrim also is working on other projects in Haines City including Feltrim Place apartments next to a planned Haines City Hall annex.