Rezoning of 77.62 acres of agriculture land at U.S. 27 and Cypress Gardens Boulevard in Winter Haven would bring a possible 183,000 square feet of retail space, 210 apartments and a 110-room hotel to the growing Legoland corridor.
“That’s the maximum – whether they ultimately do those numbers will be what the market dictates, Winter Haven Planning Manager Sean Byers told GrowthSpotter.
The parcel “represents one of the last large undeveloped parcels on the corridor,” city planning staff told the planning commission earlier this month.
Landowner and developer CG/27 Opportunity Fund Ltd. paid $7.5 million for the parcel in 2010.
Retail Solutions Advisors of Lakeland is handling the marketing and leasing for the project.
Winter Haven has to create a special zoning for the project, Byers said. “There’s not a single zoning district that will allow them to do what they want to do.”
Rezoning would allow Lakeland-based Century to build “one of the more significant commercial projects we’ve seen in a few years,” Byers said. The parcel “represents one of the last large undeveloped parcels on the corridor, according to planning documents.
The development is known as Cypress Landings, according to a conceptual site plan prepared by the Lakeland office of Kimley Horn.
Proposed residential development is consistent with the adjacent Carlton Arms apartment community, while the proposed commercial components are consistent with the existing development pattern along the Cypress Gardens Boulevard and US Highway 27 corridors, the planning commission staff determined. Also, the proposed mix of uses on this property is the type of development pattern contemplated by the Regional Activity Center Future Land Use designation.
The city’s planning commission approved the rezoning Nov. 4 with conditions. It goes to the city commission for a first reading on Dec. 9.
“Since it is a gateway into the city, we have some minor architecture requirements, Byers said. “We’re going to try to have the exteriors of the buildings a little more finished and place parking areas to the side or rear. We don’t want it to be a sea of parking – we want you to see buildings.”
There also are some landscaping requirements to create “a nice aesthetic along the frontage area.”
About 13 acres of the parcel will remain open space because it has a conservation designation, according to planning documents. All conservation areas in the adopted Future Land Use Map are to remain in their natural state and free from all development activities except for the construction of nature trails, boardwalks, or retention, and then no more than 5 percent of the conservation areas may be disturbed.
Proposed access to the property will be from one access point on Cypress Gardens Boulevard and two access points on US Highway 27. The number and locations of access points will be located will be determined by the Florida Department of Transportation, Byers said. “This is a major intersection. The primary roadway leading to Legoland and ultimately into the city center.”
The Cypress Landings property is adjacent to Ashton North, an approved 84-acre PUD on Cypress Gardens Boulevard. That site is slated for a mix of commercial and multifamily development.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated to include the name of the leasing broker, Retail Solutions Advisors.