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Avalon Park Group preps initial home lots for mixed-use lakeside project in Tavares

A conceptual development plan filed by Avalon Park Group for 155 acres of mixed-use development in Tavares, near Florida Hospital Waterman.
A conceptual development plan filed by Avalon Park Group for 155 acres of mixed-use development in Tavares, near Florida Hospital Waterman. (Avalon Park Group)

Avalon Park Group is making progress with plans to build 1,000-plus homes and a mixed-use community in Tavares around Lake Hermosa, a smaller version of its successful Avalon Park community in east Orlando.

Following the filing of a conceptual development plan in August 2016 with the city for 155 acres near Florida Hospital Waterman, zoning is now in place for "Avalon Park Village" and the developer has a Phase 1 pre-plat under review for 188 single-family homes, said Mike Fitzgerald, Tavares community development director.

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Of those, 40 lots would be townhomes. Plans were also filed last week with the St. Johns River Water Management District to build a master stormwater system for the project.

"Avalon Park Group will work with regional and local homebuilders to develop the right product type for the area with Phase 1," assistant vice president Mara Hunt told GrowthSpotter.

Plans for 25,000 square feet of retail, 270 multifamily units and 25,000 square feet of office would follow in the permitting process at an undetermined point in the future for Phase 1, she added.

Beat Kahli, president and CEO of Avalon Park Group, said the process has been smooth in working with the city of Tavares over the past year.

He expects site work to begin mid-year, with contractor bids 30 days before start. The Tavares plans are much smaller than the original Avalon Park in Orlando, said Kahli, noting an estimated project cost of about $230 million for the 155 acres, compared to a $1.5 billion investment in east Orlando.

The Tavares development has space for a K-12 private or charter school, and 100,000 square feet of self storage. And important to Kahli's desire to create communities where residents can work, live and play without traveling far, the plan calls for 50,000 square feet of commercial space.

Avalon Park Group has owned the land in Tavares in the names of subsidiary companies for more than 10 years. Kahli had planned to sell it to a homebuilder, who pulled out of the deal just before the recession hit, he said.

Today, the economic climate in central Lake County is thriving with many new neighborhood plans popping up. The area is easier to reach from Orlando with S.R. 429 and its newest spur into Mount Dora.

Teresa Burney can be reached at 352-455-1955 or at Teresaburney4@gmail.comFollow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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