An Orlando man who has built a travel business catering almost exclusively to Orthodox Jews is looking to build a mixed-use enclave in the Reunion Resort area designed specifically for his clients’ needs.
Kosher Orlando president Ari Flores told GrowthSpotter that thousands of Orthodox Jews from New York and Canada travel to the Reunion area every year to rent vacation homes for the holidays. He organizes Passover Seders and events throughout the year and has kosher food shipped straight from New York and Miami for his clients.
“Two weeks before Pesach, a lot of families come to Central Florida and they’ll take houses for three or four months,” Flores said.
Flores has a purchase contract on a nearly 7-acre parcel on County Road 532, overlooking Reunion’ Palmer golf course. His development company, Enclave at Reunion, is planning to build a neighborhood with nine mansions and a private clubhouse that could double as a worship space, Kosher restaurants and two retail or office buildings. Flores projects his building costs in the $32 million range.
“I really think after this coronavirus situation, you’re going to see a lot of New Yorkers moving here,” Flores said. “I have clients where they’re all quarantined in an 800-square-foot apartment in Queens.”
Each mansion would sit on a 70-foot wide lot and would be anywhere from 14,000 square feet to 20,000 square feet. They would be designed for extended families and multiple generations with plenty of amenities, including their own pools, lazy rivers, sauna, movie room and bowling lane.
“When the community comes here, they do everything inside,” Flores said. They don’t go to public pools or water parks for privacy reasons, he said.
More importantly, each home would have two kitchens: a chefs style kitchen for non-observant guests and a separate kosher kitchen that would allow guests to observe the strict dietary practices known as the laws of kashrut. The kosher kitchen would have two sets of cookware, dishes, sinks and refrigerators and ovens to keep dairy products from mixing with meat. Appliances, light switches and water heaters would also have Sabbath mode.
The conceptual plan designed by AVID Group’s Peter Pensa also creates an “Enclave Center” with a 5,000-square-foot multipurpose room and three restaurant spaces. Because Orthodox Jews don’t drive on the Sabbath, they need a worship space that’s within walking distance of their home. Flores said the community room would serve double duty as an event space and synagogue for weekly Shabat services, holiday observances and bar mitzvahs.
Flores plans to lease two spaces to kosher restaurants and use the third primarily as a commercial kitchen and kosher market.
The site plan also includes two 7,000-square foot buildings for retail or office use. Pensa has requested a pre-application meeting with Osceola County’s Development Review Committee for May 20.
The complex, just south of Reunion Resort, will be built in two phases and may have its own charter school next door.
By J. Kyle Foster
Mar 02, 2020 at 3:30 PM
The seller, Haroldo de Barros, purchased the land in 2017 for $765,000 under his U.S. affiliate Danpol Development. The site is currently zoned Commercial Tourist, and it’s on a stretch of C.R. 532 in transformation. The once-rural road, which serves as the county line between Osceola and Polk counties, will be widened to four lanes as part of the Poinciana Parkway - Interstate 4 connector project. The highway interchange is also scheduled to be rebuilt in 2022 to alleviate the traffic congestion.
A half dozen new apartment communities are completed or in the pipeline on the Polk County side of the road, including a two-phased, 710-unit community directly across the street. A new medical campus by Orlando Health will anchor the Reunion Village mixed-use center, which is 1.3 miles west at the I-4 interchange.