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Shingle Creek Resort expansion could start soon with golf course renovation

A site map showing the redevelopment of the vacant 24.6-acre parcel fronting Destination Parkway, which will accommodate three golf course greens and a new water body.
A site map showing the redevelopment of the vacant 24.6-acre parcel fronting Destination Parkway, which will accommodate three golf course greens and a new water body.(SFWMD)

Rosen Hotels & Resorts' planned expansion of its Shingle Creek Resort includes a complete redesign of its golf course by the Arnold Palmer Design Co., a process the company hopes to begin in June, with plans currently under review by Orange County and the South Florida Water Management District.

The 18-hole, 7,149-yard championship golf course that opened in December 2003 was designed by Windermere resident David Harman, who helped build more than 150 golf courses around the world.

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It's due for a redesign after more than a decade of use, which prompted Rosen Hotels to make it the initial focus of expansion plans for the entire property.

Planned expansion with a 16-story condominium tower will leave enough frontage space along Universal Boulevard to accommodate future development in line with the county's I-Drive Vision Plan.

"It was time to renovate the greens, and we're excited that in the end we'll be able to call ourselves an Arnold Palmer-designed course," said Garritt Toohey, former vice president of Rosen Hotels, who returned as a consultant last year to guide the Shingle Creek expansion plans. There are 33 Arnold Palmer-designed courses in Florida, with four in Greater Orlando.

As GrowthSpotter first reported on Nov. 10, the Orlando-based hotel company has plans for a 16-story tower dubbed "The Reserve" with 320 condo units (and up to 640 keys via lockout doors), a new parking garage, spa building, pool and bar area, and 250,380 square feet of additional convention space.

Phase 1 of that development plan involves relocating holes 12, 13 and 14 to about two-thirds of a 24.6-acre parcel the company owns directly north of the resort, which fronts Destination Parkway.

Those 24.6 acres include an existing stormwater pond, planned by former owner Pulte to serve future homes for the site that were never built. Subdivision infrastructure on the parcel will be demolished by Rosen Hotels, that stormwater pond will be filled, and a separate pond on the site will be expanded to benefit aesthetics and playability of the course.

New plans filed with the county show hotelier Harris Rosen plans a new resort tower, spa building, convention center expansion, parking garage and on-site operations building for his company at the Shingle Creek Resort property.

An environmental resource permit application is under initial review by the SFWMD, and could be approved this month. A revised DP was resubmitted to Orange County planning staff on March 21, and returned to the applicant with staff comments for revision. As of now, that DP won't be scheduled for Orange's Development Review Committee within April.

Both applications are running concurrent, and an Orange County site work permit would have to follow DP approval, Toohey said.

Site work could begin in June if the DP is scheduled for Orange DRC in May and approved, though that DP has been returned multiple times by county staff with comments. Landscapes Unlimited has been hired as the site work contractor, specialized in golf courses.

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Projected investment in Phase 1 work on the course is $500,000, a rough estimate since those costs haven't been separated from the overall cost projections for course renovation, Toohey said.

Developers of retail project Destination Shoppes have spent twice what they imagined on development plans for the Universal Boulevard project, but say it was worth it to embrace the I-Drive Vision Plan.

Orange County already approved the combination of Shingle Creek Resort's main parcel and the neighboring northern parcel (254.6 acres total) for the resort's expansion plan, which lie within the Universal Boulevard PD.

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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