The owner of 99 acres on Wetherbee Road has applied for a mass grading permit to prep the first phase of D.R. Horton project that could add hundreds of townhomes and apartments to the airport submarket.
The homebuilder is listed as the contract purchaser for the land, which is just west of Boggy Creek Road and next to Sawgrass Plantation. The property is entitled for 950 residential units but would likely end up having far fewer units.
More than half of the property is wetland. The approved master plan for Wetherbee Acres divides the developable land into two sections: an 18-acre townhouse tract and a 25-acre apartment tract.
Horton had initially considered building detached homes on the site, but ultimately opted for higher density. The Preliminary Subdivision Plan calls for 70 2-story townhomes, all with a 1-car garage.
Development plans for the multifamily portion of the property will be filed separately. The City Council has capped the total number of rental apartments at 450. The developer received a waiver for the height of the future apartment buildings, which normally would be restricted because of the proximity to the single family townhomes.
Horton has two active townhouse developments in Polk County and currently offers townhomes in two of its larger master-planned communities: Kindred and Waterleigh. The builder also filed plans in October for a 383-unit apartment complex along with commercial and office buildings in Horizon West's Waterleigh.
The land owner is Wetherbee Acres LLLP, an investment affiliate of J. Thomas Cardwell, a veteran attorney in Orlando and former CEO of law firm Ackerman Senterfitt & Eidson.