Osceola Commissioners have approved the subdivision plans for the county’s first master-planned community to feature a Crystal Lagoon swimming amenity.
GrowthSpotter first reported plans by Tampa-based Metro Development Group a year ago to feature the attraction at the entrance to its Whaley Platt project on Kissimmee Park Road. At the time, company officials would only confirm the Public Access Lagoon was being considered. Now it’s included in the Preliminary Subdivision Plan for the 750-acre community in the county’s East of Lake Toho Mixed-Use District, and the new developer agreement that establishes the Kissimmee Park Community Development District commits the Metro to build the Metro Lagoon in its community center, along with other civic buildings with meeting rooms and restrooms.
Commissioners approved the PSP and CDD Monday after the developer agreed to conditions that it participates in the regional transportation improvements and comply with strict new architectural standards set to go to the board in August. The plan entitles the property for a total of 2,818 homes and sets aside land for a future K-8 charter school.
Metro opened North America’s first Public Access Lagoon in 2018 in Pasco County’s Epperson Community. That community ranks 27th among the 50 top-selling master-planned communities in the nation, according to RCLCO’s mid-year report. Since that time, Metro Lagoons opened its second PAL in Hillsborough County’s SouthShore community, and it has two more in development in the Tampa Bay market.
The Whaley Platt community is one of three Orlando-area projects with Crystal Lagoons now in the works. Construction is underway at Evermore Resort Orlando, where the 20-acre beach complex will be the centerpiece of its luxury resort, scheduled to open next summer. The Evermore Bay lagoon will be restricted to resort guests. In the Four Corners area, Everest Group of Companies has received preliminary plan approval from Osceola County for the 217-acre Everest Place mixed-use district, which includes a complex of four hotels with a shared swimming lagoon amenity in its second development phase.
While the Metro Lagoon at Whaley Platt will be the most notable amenity, the Osceola project also includes a wide array of recreational features: over 6 miles of trails, a canoe and kayak launch on Lake Tohopekaliga, a dog park, neighborhood pocket parks, playgrounds and eco-corridors.
Also this week, two other developers have advanced plans for mixed-use projects in the East of Lake Toho district. Fontana Lakes owner Jeff Fuqua filed construction plans with the South Florida Water Management District for a marina in Friar’s Cove on Lake Toho with over 50 boat slips that will anchor his 677-acre mixed-use development, which is east of the Whaley Platt project.
The marina project would take up 30 acres and include a boardwalk, boat ramp, and ample parking for vehicles and boat trailers. Floating docks would be utilized for portions of the marina that extend into state sovereign waters.
D.R. Horton is the contracted buyer for 321 acres just west of the Whaley Platt. It’s already part of the East Lake Toho Conceptual Master Plan, and D.R. Horton recently submitted a Concept Plan with Osceola County to develop the property with a net density of 7.5 homes per acre. The subject site has entitlements in the CMP for 1,290 dwelling units. Those entitlements include the existing homes west of the property.
The CP would allow for the construction of 502 new residential units with a breakdown of 72 townhomes and 430 detached single-family homes. It also allocates 4.6 acres overlooking Lake Toho as a site for a 50,311-square-foot recreation center.
Xabier Guerricagoita, director of engineering for Boyd Civil took the feedback from a March pre-application meeting to rework the plan with a street grid that conforms to the county’s mixed-use district standards and allows for connectivity to the Whaley Platt property.
D.R. Horton was the first major developer to activate the county’s East of Lake Toho Element in 2014 when it started construction in Kindred, the northernmost community in the district and now one of the county’s fastest-growing subdivisions. The former Toho Preserve DRI covers nearly 1,600 acres and has approvals for nearly 3,000 single-family homes, 639 multifamily units and 550,000 square feet of retail, office and institutional uses.