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Father-and-son developers planning Sanford high-end residential

Developers Joe and Winston Schwartz are taking two parcels in Sanford totaling about 15 acres, virtually surrounded by homes, and adding additional residences.
Developers Joe and Winston Schwartz are taking two parcels in Sanford totaling about 15 acres, virtually surrounded by homes, and adding additional residences. (Seminole County)

A father-son development team is getting ready to break ground on their first project, a contemporary-style subdivision on roughly 15 acres in Sanford on the edge of Lake Mary.

Planned are 25 homes to be built in two phases by WJ Homes on S. Sylvan Lake Drive, in an area that is thriving with residential development. Taylor Morrison and Park Square Homes both have projects going on less than a half mile away.

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The developers say the Seminole county area is a "great market, with shopping, restaurants and easy access to I-4," so they're hustling to acquire the dwindling available land, said Joe Schwartz of WJ Homes, who is overseeing the S. Sylvan Lake Drive project with his father and partner, Winston Schwartz.

Land the company is building on is being purchased in stages from developer Allan Goldberg's ZDA Land Investments LLC. WJ Homes paid $600,000 for the property for phase one in June of last year, and has $1 million assigned for contract on the second phase, Joe Schwartz said.

The value of the finished lots will be $150,000 each in phase one, and is still to be determined for the second phase.

The name of Joe Schwart's father is a familiar one in the development community. Winston Schwartz and partner James Adley built apartment complexes, retail and office space for more than 20 years in the area as Winston-James Development.

The partnership has now been restructured as WJ Homes, with Adley going on to other things and Joe Schwartz taking on a primary role. This is his second time working for his father. Joe was let go, with just about the rest of Winston James Development's employees, during the economic downturn in 2008.

The project's first phase, Lake Sylvan Oaks, has had the site cleared, streets paved and utilities now being installed.

New construction is expected to start in two to three months. Eleven residences are planned on five acres, following county commissioners' approval at the beginning of this year of the subdivision, and a rezoning to Planned Development from Agricultural.

Schwartz said the homes will range from $500,000 to $800,000, take up 3,000 to 4,500square feet, and have three floor plans offered.

The look will be contemporary; "A little more modern looking than Mediterranean," Schwartz said.

Construction is planned to be complete in two to three years. Phase two, adjacent to Lake Sylvan Oaks, will be on 9.64 acres and have 14 homes.

That property is currently before Seminole County planners, with Schwartz seeking a rezoning to PD.

Work is expected to start at the end of the year and finish two years later. Homes in phase two are expected to cost $600,000 or more.

WJ Homes is acting as general contractor, and Madden, Moorhead & Glunt is the civil engineer. The architects are Keesee Associates and AEC Consulting Group.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at ktalley@growthspotter.com or (407) 420-5176. Follow GrowthSpotter on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

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