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Lake County Developments

Local developer has big plans for downtown Mount Dora

The 2-story Gaslight Building in downtown Mount Dora will have a rooftop bar, making it ideal for a craft brewery.

Mount Dora has approved four G3 Development projects in the downtown area for offices, retail, apartments and even a rooftop bar.

The company is expecting to break ground on three of the projects before June, with the other one — apartments close to Simpson Cove on Lake Dora — expected to get underway by the end of 2022, said Austin Guenther, the director of business development for G3 Development.

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The company has concentrated recently on projects in the Lake County city, known for its antique shops, restaurants and festivals. Guenther is a member of Mount Dora’s City Council, though none of the projects required council approval.

“Our ideal environment is making the downtown as walkable as possible,” said Guenther, whose father, Gerry Guenther, founded the Mount Dora commercial and residential real estate development firm more than 20 years ago and works now with his sons, Austin and Jake.

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The projects are:

  • The Gaslight building, a 12,000-square-foot, two-story building that will contain retail, offices, apartments and a rooftop bar.

The building is at the end of N Baker Street on a .25-acre lot next to the city’s parking lots and garage. It also will be adjacent to the planned bike and pedestrian trail that will connect Tavares to Mount Dora and beyond in the next few years.

The rooftop bar will be 35 feet high and will have views of Lake Dora and even Lake Beauclair in the distance, Guenther said.

About 5,000 square feet are on the first floor, with a 3,000 square feet deck, which “we think will be an ideal space for a brewery or distillery,” Guenther said.

Powell Studio Architecture of Clermont is handling the design on three of the four projects. G3 Development hopes to open during the first quarter of 2023.

This 3-story addition to Mount Dora's  301 Building will provide enough space to accommodate anchor tenant, Steamroller Animation, and its 199 employees.
  • An addition to the 301 Building at the corner of N Baker Street and E 3rd Avenue, which will provide additional space for Steamroller Animation, a growing game and video animation studio.

The existing 301 building houses about 45 to 50 Steamroller workers, as well as sushi restaurant, WAVE, and a fitness studio. The 23,000 square-foot, three-story addition will provide another 4,000 square feet for Steamroller.

“We’re excited to expand our existing facility in downtown Mount Dora to help accommodate our future growth,” Tom Jelneck, Steamroller’s head of marketing, said in an email. “Some of our plans include additional storage rooms, tech enhancements, more common areas for our team members, and break away conference type rooms for informal meetings.”

Steamroller moved into the 301 Building in 2018 and now has 199 employees at the animation studio and a sister company, Steamroller Technologies, including many who work remotely or only sometimes in the office.

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Adam Meyer, co-owner and chief design officer at Steamroller said in an email, “We absolutely love being a part of the Mount Dora community, not just the business community, but the art community as well. Having our rapidly growing studio in downtown offers our team members an amazing atmosphere to find artistic inspiration. We could have easily located our studio in downtown Orlando, but we wanted to establish our roots in a more intimate, small town community.”

The remaining space in the addition will be retail, said Guenther, who also is a Mount Dora City Council member.

G3 Development plans to open the addition during the first quarter of 2023.

  • Parkview Apartments, a 59-unit building that is two blocks from Simpson Cove on Lake Dora and across the street from Gilbert Park .

G3 Development originally proposed to sell townhouses on the 2.9-acre property at Liberty Avenue and S Grandview Street, but “we didn’t want to end up selling real estate,” Guenther said.

“The building will be a modern farmhouse style and include both one- and two-bedroom units,” which will range in size from 650 to 1,100 square feet, he said. Rents have not been set.

“We see the location appealing to young couples or empty nesters” who want to be within walking distance of the lake and downtown, Guenther said.

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FK Architecture of Winter Park is designing the project, which is expected to break ground during the fourth quarter and open during the third quarter of 2023.

The Mount Dora Center for the Arts will relocate to a new building on Royellou Lane that has more space for exhibits and classes.
  • A new Mount Dora Center for the Arts, which will move into a 4,600-square-foot building around the corner from its current spot on Fifth Avenue across from Donnelly Park. The new center will provide space for art displays and more classrooms, Guenther said.

The building will be on Royellou Lane, an alley road between 5th and 4th avenues that also is home for the Mount Dora History Museum.

G3 Development, which owns the current arts center building, said a Foxtail Coffee is moving into the former first-floor arts center space, joining an ice cream shop next door.

The company still owns Pineapple Point, a four-acre parcel on Lake Dora next to Elizabeth Evans Park and the Lakeside Inn. It was purchased in 2016 for $2.8 million, but Guenther said G3 Development has no plans to announce yet.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at Newsroom@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 420-6261. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


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