A century-old, 13,721-square-foot Classical Revival mansion on the National Register of Historic Places will undergo a massive preservation effort and new condos will be built around it, according to plans submitted to Osceola County.
The historic Tucker-Ivey home at 2450 Old Dixie Highway is one of the only residential homes in Kissimmee on the National Register. It was designed and built by Orlando-based contractor Henry Green in 1916 for J. Wade Tucker, a lumber baron from Georgia. It was later purchased in the 1930s by Hilda and Lester Ivey and was owned by the late Clarence & Esther “Sis” Ivey, owner of Ivey Groves, until her death in 2016.
The five-bedroom mansion faces Old Dixie, which was the main highway between Kissimmee and Orlando when the house was built. The property also has about 775 feet of frontage on Orange Blossom Trail, across the street from AdventHealth Kissimmee.
The Ivey estate rezoned the mansion and its nearly 10-acre site to a mixed-use Planned Development in late 2020 with entitlements for up to 180 multifamily units, 435,000 square feet of both office and retail space. The zoning allows for the residential and retail buildings to be up to 60 feet tall, while the office buildings could be built up to 75 feet in height. Shortly after the zoning was approved, the Ivey heirs sold the property for $4.3 million.
The initial concept for the PD called for four commercial parcels to be created on Orange Blossom Trail on opposite sides of the mansion, which must be preserved and renovated as a condition of the zoning. The residential buildings were to be built on a separate lot comprising most of the eastern half of the parcel.
New owner Daniel Leiderman, director of Hebdon Bridge LLC, recently submitted a new Site Development Plan that tweaks the original plan. Now the developer is seeking approvals to build 160 multifamily condominiums on the eastern and southern portions of the site and to create a single commercial outparcel in the northwest corner. A large retention pond would be constructed west of the house, buffering it from the multifamily buildings, and a new road would bisect the property and separate the commercial from the estate. The front lawn of the house would be converted into a civic green.
The construction plans, by Osceola Engineering, show one L-shaped condo building and a separate rectangular building north of the new road. The pool area would be built overlooking the drainage pond. A dog park and pickleball courts are also shown on the plan. Over the last few years, developers have opted to classify new multifamily projects as condos rather than apartments, which are charged nearly three times the rate for school impact fees.
The allowable uses for the renovated mansion include medical/professional or government offices, event venue, dine-in restaurant, bed and breakfast or education use (but not daycare.) Additionally, the building could serve as a leasing office or amenity for the multifamily community.
Leiderman told GrowthSpotter the priorities for the developer are to preserve the landscape as much as possible, to respect the mansion’s historical value and create an attractive family-friendly environment. “An Independent landscape preservation study was done before any layout draft, so to start from there and draft around that,” he said. “For the mansion renovation, we are in early conversations with an architectural firm experienced in preserving buildings of historical value.”
Leiderman said the mansion would not serve as a clubhouse for the condos, but the developers have not settled on the use. “First we want it to be beautiful again,” he said.
The PD ordinance specifies that the new construction must complement the existing structure along all visible surfaces. The design standards for the residential buildings call for traditional roof forms, columns and balconies. Additional architectural details such as cornice and crown treatments, gable elements and lintel and sash treatments must be featured on facades that face the public right of way or primary entrance facades.
Permitted uses for the retail site include banks, quick-service restaurants, car wash and daycare facilities.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article has been updated with comments from the developer.