Osceola County Developments

Pulte’s latest master-planned community would have a marina on East Lake Toho

Pulte's Hilliard Isle master-planned community would span 837 acres across Simpson Road from the Buenaventura Lakes community.

Homebuilding giant Pulte is targeting Kissimmee for its next master-planned community that would bring thousands of new homes to the community just off Simpson Road and add a commercial marina on East Lake Tohopekaliga.

Pulte is the contracted buyer for 838 acres currently owned by Plaza Lakes LLC on the northwest tip of the 18-square-mile lake. About 327 acres are already in the city of Kissimmee, so Pulte has applied to annex the remaining 510 acres into the city. Hilliard Isle would rival the city’s largest master-planned communities in size and scope, according to Planning Manager Brenda Ryan, who met with the developer for an hour Tuesday to review the applications.


“One thing that’s going to be really unique about this annexation and development of this project is that it will extend the city limits to East Lake Toho, and then also by way of land area, just land area — and this is this raw developable here — it will be only second to the Flora Ridge development,” Ryan said.

The homebuilder is seeking a text and map amendment to the city’s comprehensive plan to create a special Hilliard Isle land use designation and has applied for a Planned Unit Development zoning that would split the community into a 50-acre mixed-use section fronting on Simpson Road with a larger residential neighborhood section. The conceptual plan calls for a mix of housing product types and uses.


The proposed development program includes 2,448 residential units; 180,000 square feet of retail/office uses, and a commercial marina with up to 10,000 square feet of restaurant and neighborhood retail uses. Of the residential units, 1,828 are proposed to be single-family attached and detached units and 620 are proposed as multifamily units.

The project would be divided into three development phases, with phase 1 being all single-family residential neighborhoods. The housing product types would include 313 townhomes and 226 rear-loaded bungalows. Standard detached homes would be built on 40-foot, 50-foot and 60-foot lots.

Chris Wrenn, director of forward planning for Pulte, said they’ve been coordinating with Osceola County on the transportation improvements along Simpson Road and would loop in the city officials to those discussions. The primary entrance would align with Pebble Pointe Way, while the community also will be accessible by way of Hilliard Isle Road, Borinquen Drive and Aurora Court.

“I think it is a good idea to have the city and the county and us as the applicant meet and discuss to make sure everybody’s on the same page,” Wrenn said.

Hilliard Isle would be developed over three phases, with the bulk of the residential in Phase 1, followed by the Mixed-Use district, and the commercial marina in Phase 3.

The mixed-use town center would be located in Phase 2, along with the northernmost residential neighborhood, which would have the same development standards as Phase 1. All of the multifamily would be constructed in the mixed-use section, and the commercial uses would mirror those allowed under Highway Business zoning.

Eric Raasch with S&ME is leading the civil engineering work. City planners had asked the developer to remove the single-family homes from the Mixed-Use area. Raasch said the goal was to create a smoother transition between Hilliard Isle and the Marbella subdivision to the north.

“There is an area you know, it’s designated for mixed-use, but we don’t know where the exact line is between kind of the commercial mixed-use area with multifamily and those types of uses and then single family,” he said. “We are proposing to put some single-family up on the north adjacent to the existing single-family for compatibility, and potentially some additional single-family within that area on the east. So I think the reason we allow that flexibility in that phase to the mixed-use area was to allow for that transition to occur without knowing exactly where that line is going to be.”

Ryan said the lower density would make it difficult to meet the development standards for mixed-use, so she suggested they revise the plan to remove that neighborhood from the mixed-use area and move it into a separate phase.


“What I don’t want to have happen is your mixed-use includes single-family detached and commercial, and there’s no opportunity for any type of multifamily or some other type of product within that mixed-use area,” she said.

The conceptual plan shows 103 acres of open space and 33 acres set aside for three amenities, each with a pool and a surrounding park area. The marina would be located adjacent to the lakefront amenity center and would be developed in Phase 3, according to the documents. There’s also a series of mews, pocket parks and a trail system along the lakefront and encircling the ponds that will be built within the community and winding through the new neighborhoods.

Wrenn said Pulte will be required to go through a separate permitting process with South Florida Water Management District for the marina, so for now the builder is just seeking the entitlement for the use.

“I would say that at a minimum, what we would be looking to have is obviously resident access to the water, whether that’s through an observation dock, or a boardwalk or something of that nature,” he said. “So again, we’re just seeking the option to include an amenity like that in the community. But there’s a whole separate process for that.”

The Development Review Committee approved the annexation case to move forward, but the land use and zoning applications will need further revisions. Ryan also asked Pulte to provide elevations showing examples of the housing product types for the single family. She said working through the minute details of a plan this size can be grueling, but it’s also rewarding when the city and developer find common ground.

“We hope to continue with the city’s reputation of really working through design and really working through different types of things, but continuing to move projects forward,” she said. “I think we pride ourselves on that where anything is not insurmountable.”


Pulte is no stranger to large-scale master-planned communities. The Atlanta-based company is America’s third-largest homebuilder and has dozens of projects underway in Central Florida.

Among those is EverBe, the 1,572-acre development just off Lee Vista Boulevard at the Beachline Expressway formerly known as Vista Park. That project, now in Phase 1 development, is approved for 3,486 dwelling units, including a gated section for a potential active adult section.

Pulte is also the exclusive homebuilder for Orange County’s first agrihood, The Grow, with 2,078 residential lots and more than 100,000 square feet of commercial space centered around a nine-acre working farm.

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