The sales center for Weslyn Park, the first residential subdivision to be developed by Tavistock in its 24,000-acre Sunbridge community, is scheduled to open in October.
But the master developer is already thinking and planning for the future. Tavistock recently filed construction permits to extend Cyrils Drive into Phase 1 of Sunbridge while simultaneously filing a Concept Plan for Phase 2, which covers over 11,000 acres in Northeast Osceola County.
Tavistock Group Managing Director Jim Zboril told GrowthSpotter the road permit is critical to the project because it includes a bridge over the canal system, which extends the project into its marina district.
“We’re very close to the start of excavation of what we call the Big Dig, which is building that marina basin,” Zboril said. “And so that’s exciting, and that ramps us up to a whole other level of activity.”
Phase 1 of Sunbridge began last year with the opening of Del Webb at Sunbridge. “We’re super excited about what’s happening out there,” Zboril said. “Del Webb sold 24 units last month, so they’re at about 234 units, something like that, in unit sales. So that’s going really well, and we’re seeing good pricing and good activity, which is making us feel really good about Weslyn Park, which is supposed to open by the end of the year. So that’s on track.”
Del Webb and Weslyn Park are the first of six major neighborhoods that make up the nearly 4,600 residential units in Phase 1. Other major components are the marina district and an employment center with up to 1.75 million square feet of offices.
It could all be dwarfed by Phase 2, which is four times the size. Zboril estimates that construction on Phase 2 is still a few years away, but the scale of the project is so massive the permitting process has to start now.
The concept plan calls for seven primary neighborhoods with about 9,000 detached homes and townhomes, a town center and a 145-acre employment center along Sunbridge Parkway. There’s also a major retail hub along Jack Brack Road and a nearly 300-acre special district sandwiched between Lake Myrtle and Lake Preston. In total, it would be approved for 16,540 residential units, nearly 3.2 million square feet of offices, 1,350 hotel rooms and about 1.2 million square feet of retail.
The plan closely aligns with the county’s adopted Northeast District element. Zboril said the goal of getting out ahead of the infrastructure planning is to expedite the development of the employment center.
“At the end of the day, Osceola County is interested in the Northeast District being a place for job growth, and so are we,” he said. “I think our position is if we had not had the infrastructure in at Lake Nona that we did with the interchange at Lake Nona Boulevard and Tavistock Lake Boulevard, we wouldn’t have gotten the things we have.”
The timeline to start development in Phase 2 would be around 2024, and it would be a three-pronged approach to encompass infrastructure, housing and employment. That includes extending Sunbridge Parkway all the way to Nova Road and expanding the water treatment plant from a capacity of 1 million gallons per day to 3 million.
“Our position is we need infrastructure to bring jobs, and we need residential to help us pay for the infrastructure,” Zboril said. “And then we’re aligned with the county. We can bring jobs where it benefits us and it benefits them.”
The Phase 2 Concept Plan adjusts the calculated square feet of office space for each employee, reducing it 250 to 180 per person. But the plan actually increases the total amount of office space by 290,000 square feet and anticipates about a 33% increase in total employment, from around 15,000 workers to nearly 21,000.
Tavistock and its planning firm, GAI’s Community Solutions Group, are seeking a significant change in the overall staging plan for Phase 2. The approved Conceptual Master Plan for Sunbridge did not include any residential neighborhoods on the east shore of Lake Preston.
Tavistock is asking to move those areas, labeled Neighborhoods B and C from Stage 3 into the new Concept Plan. Combined, those two neighborhoods would be slated for 3,250 homes. Zboril said the result would be a more circular development pattern, rather than the west-to-east pattern originally contemplated in the Northeast District element.
“What we’re trying to do is we’re trying to build some additional density over on the east side, so that we can then ensure the success of the middle, to be higher density,” Zboril said. “And so we’re trying to surround the employment area with density, so it’s building to the center instead of going from one side to the other.”
Zboril said the proposed Community Center on Jack Brack Road would provide 225,000 square feet of retail and dining, along with 50,000 square feet of offices to serve the Del Webb community and the new neighborhoods in Phase 2.
“We would see it as a great place for a grocery center and maybe a home improvement store, plus some professional offices and restaurants,” he said. “We see it as a mixed-use center, but clearly focused on some of those community needs.”
The final component of Phase 2 is the Special District between the two lakes. The submitted concept plan calls for 1,500 multifamily units, 190,000 square feet of commercial space, 60,000 square feet of office and 60,000 square feet of civic uses.
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