Galt's Landing would be a 10-unit, fly-in subdivision with estate, lakefront homes with oversized garages to accommodate small aircraft. (Rj Whidden and Associates)
UPDATED: JULY 12, 2018 10:30 AM — An Orlando-based airline pilot has filed preliminary plans for Osceola County's first luxury fly-in community near Harmony.
Owner/developer Brian Hickok, a captain for JetBlue, told GrowthSpotter he has always dreamed of owning a home with a private hanger in a fly-in community, but he couldn't find one within a reasonable commute of Orlando International Airport.
He reached out to Bob Whidden, president of Rj Whidden and Associates, who told him about an available 50-acre site in Harmony right across from the Lake X airstrip on Old Melbourne Highway. Within a week, he had it under contract for $600,000.
"I don't know if it was good luck or fate," he said. "We did all of our inspections and figured out how much of the land would buildable, and we closed in January."
Hickok said he's in negotiations with the nonprofit Kirchman Foundation, which owns the 10,432-acre Lake X Ranch nature preserve and controls access to the airstrip.
The Galt's Landing site plan provides for a private taxiway that would give the residents access to the airstrip. Each of the 10 estate homes would sit on approximately one acre and have garages sized to accommodate a small airplane.
"It will absolutely create the opportunity for executive housing," said John Adams, vice president at Rj Whidden.
The property is on the east shore of Harmony's Cat Lake, and Hickok said the community would have its own private marina where owners can dock their boats.
"It's great bass fishing," he said. "It's pristine because there's no homes on the lake."
The exclusive community is also designed to highlight sustainable gardening practices, and plans include two greenhouses and a chicken coop.
"The owners will be able to walk up there every morning and get fresh eggs," he said.
Hickok partnered with land developer Jim Gale, who will own one of the lots in the community. Gale is known for his eco-friendly resorts, Osa Mountain Village and Serenity Gardens, in Costa Rica.
"I lived down there for a year with my family," Hickok said. "He created an edible landscape community, and I thought it would be great if we did that at Galt's Landing."
So the greenhouses will be designed to produce food, and the neighborhood will be landscaped with fruit, avocado and moringa trees.
Adams has filed a preliminary subdivision plan (PSP), and applied for an amendment to the Harmony Planned Development to allow for rural residential development within the master-planned golf community.
Hickok said his goal is to complete the permitting approvals process and platting by the end of the year and then start on the infrastructure work.
He hopes to start construction on his own home in May, but hasn't selected an architect or builder yet. He also has a deposit on a new plane.
In addition to Galt's Landing, the PD amendment would apply to 38 acres on Old Melbourne Highway that were sold in December to an affiliate of Mike Moser, CEO of Starwood Land Advisors -- the original master developer of Harmony. Moser is currently building a private residence on his land.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article has been updated to correct the purchase price of the land.