Hill Gray Seven has sold one of its new, high-end townhomes on Winter Park's trademark Park Avenue for a recorded $2.85 million to Tom Roehlk, executive vice president of Tupperware Brands.
The development of 10 townhomes is half sold out, said Gregg Hill, founder of Oviedo-based Hill Gray Seven, with prices averaging more than $3 million each.
Roehlk said the walkability of the location was one of the reasons to leave his Winter Park home of 22 years -- he spotted the property after parking his car to walk to the Winter Park Art Festival and said he was the first to sign a contract.
"It's exactly where we want to be, and it looked beautiful," he said. "Immediately, the same day, I called."
Roehlk's three-bedroom, 3,300-square-foot townhome offers views of Winter Park Country Club's golf course and an outdoor terrace. It's one of three that size, while the others are 4,300 square feet. Slocum Platts Architects of Maitland is the project's architect.
"In my opinion, it's high time Winter Park is offering projects that are either condominium form or townhome to meet market demand," said Randal Slocum, president of Slocum Platts, noting a handful of other projects his company has handled in the nearby area, including another for Hill Gray Seven.
The quality at Park Hill drew in Roehlk – "they spared absolutely no expense," he said. "We're very, very happy with that, and as a developer I think that's what really drove him to take on this project."
Indeed, Hill Gray Seven modeled construction of the three-story homes with private elevators after the quality of old New York and Chicago townhomes – the kind that have stood for decades with hand-crafted work, he said, including attention to exterior masonry with precast stone or handmade brick.
"Every bit of it from the outside is ... like they used to build with in the old days," Hill said. "It costs almost $4 million more to use precast than stucco. ... It can take all day to do about 4 inches of work; it's taken two years for all the stone work to be complete."
The European style also is intended to look timeless, Slocum said, rather than reflect any potentially fleeting industry trend.
"The nice thing about what we're doing here with the architecture is that five years from now, people will have a hard time identifying what time in [recent] history this was done, as opposed to some things happening today that are too era-based or current," he said.
Alachua-based Busby Cabinets handled custom cabinetry, which can run $150,000 more at Park Hill than most kitchens, Hill said. All cabinets have hardwood doors and are hand made in Busby's shop, which includes milling its own moulding, said Sean Doyle of Busby. Maple, walnut and white oak are popular in the marketplace right now, he said.
Sales have mostly been to local buyers who prize the location as Roehlk does, he said. The homeowners association handles all maintenance, and typical interest comes from empty nesters, he said.
"They're moving off lakes or from different homes, and want to downsize but not downgrade," Hill said. "... When the kids or grandchildren come to visit, there's plenty of room."
Mark Rash Interiors has been available through Hill for interior design, including Roehlk's.
Hill Gray Seven began developing the parcel in 2016 after buying it for $5.1 million and redeveloping two small apartment complexes built around 1970.
For Hill, whose company's commercial projects include Stonehill Plaza on Alafaya Trail in Oviedo to restaurants and health care from the Carolinas to Kansas, his residential projects are intentionally selective.
"I'm on the lookout for the next site, so I can bring quality and not have to make compromises," he said. "We do more commercial development because you can't solely do high-end residential."