A long-defunct mixed-use project on State Road 44 in Eustis is now being reimagined as a residential subdivision that will bring 124 new homes to the city.
The former Pebble Creek project was approved by Lake County for 75 residential lots and up to 110,800 square feet of commercial space fronting on S.R. 44, but the 28-acre development stalled after the utilities were installed and the roads partially built.
Lake Mary-based developer Marlene Hart bought the property through affiliate M & A LLC in 2018 for $800,000. The property was annexed into the city in 2019.
The Eustis City Commission approved a concept plan for Chelsea Square Station that would replace almost all of the commercial uses with residential. The concept plan creates one .7-acre commercial lot at the southeast corner of the site. The rest would be converted for residential use: 39 Cottage lots and 89 modified House lots.
The cottage lots would be 40 feet wide by 105 feet deep. The House lots would be 50 feet wide by 110 feet deep.
Planning consultant Greg Beliveau with LPG Urban & Regional Plannersexplained that the developer would need a waiver for the house lots because the existing roads and utilities would not allow for the development of lots that meet the minimum depth required by code.
He said the owner intends to bring the existing infrastructure up to current standards and, ultimately, dedicate it to the city. Lori Barnes, Development Services Director for the city, said that because the project sat idle for so long, the city would likely wait two years after the project is completed before accepting the roads and utilities for maintenance.
Beliveau said Hart also renamed the project in hopes of shedding the stigma of the failed Pebble Creek development.
“That is a name that has haunted this project for a long time. It’s not carried this project in a favorable way, and so we’re like, it’s our intent that at some point time that nomenclature be erased from this project forever and it carries the new name in a positive way,” he said.
He also noted that 25% of the total project would be preserved as green space, including a playground, trails and a dog park.
The commission vote to approve the conceptual plan doesn’t entitle the property, but it means the owner can proceed with engineering design for the subdivision.
Barnes said that D.R. Horton is under contract to buy the project once permits are approved. The homebuilder expects to offer multiple floorplans homes starting at 1,500 square feet and ranging in price from $252,000 to $307,000.