Apopka Council approves land use change for two new subdivisions near Wekiva interchange

GrowthSpotter contributor

A pair of residential developments could bring more than 400 new homes to what is expected to become a bustling section of northwest Apopka.

Large Scale Comprehensive Plan Amendments (CPA) for parcels on West Kelly Park Road and at 3845 and 4011 Golden Gem Road went before the Apopka City Council earlier this month, with the former receiving a future land use change and the latter request accepted on first reading. CPAs typically preceed a rezoning request.

Winter Garden-based Cantero Holdings LLC bought the Golden Gem property in 2005 for roughly $1.7 million. “We’ve been waiting out the market, and we think it’s a little closer to market now,” said Jose Cantero, a manager for the family company. “There’s a lot of activity out there.”

That activity has been spurred by the opening of the first five miles of the Wekiva Parkway (S.R. 429) last year, a $103 million project that includes a section that extends north from Ponkan Road to the new interchange at Kelly Park Road.

Portions of both of the Apopka parcels fall under the Wekiva Parkway Interchange Vision Plan Area, which was created by the city and Orange County to address expected development pressure within a one-mile radius of the new interchange. Both agricultural parcels will be classified under the Mixed Use-Interchange classification.

Hanover Capital Partners is developing the 39.6-acre Kelly Park Road project. Vice President Steve Orosz told GrowthSpotter the company is excited to enter the Apopka market after a long hiatus. "The Wekiva Parkway extension has added connectivity between the western and northern parts of town," he said.

The land is currently owned by Kent Greer. Documents filed with the city propose a subdivision with 139 single-family lots.

Orlando-based Hanover has built more than 25,000 homes and developed more than 10,000 residential lots. The company has completed subdivisions, office parks, industrial parks and country clubs in central Florida and North Carolina.

At this point, Cantero Holdings is referring to its site simply as “the Golden Gem project,” said Jose Cantero, who is a licensed real estate broker and general contractor.

It is a 91.6-acre parcel fronting Golden Gem Road on its west and stretching nearly to S.R. 429, about halfway between Ponkan and Kelly Park roads.  

A parcel of the land had previously been proposed as a 12-lot subdivision with five-acre lot sizes called Golden Gem Estates. But Cantero said a more appropriate use is for a residential subdivision of single-family detached homes at a higher density.

“We don’t have a (solid) site plan yet, but we’ve penciled out some lot layouts and we believe we’re going to have just over 300 units,” he said.

Cantero expects that the necessary entitlements will be in place by the end of 2019, with construction to begin thereafter. G L Summitt Engineering is the engineer of record, and Jimmy Crawford is serving as land use attorney.

In 2015, Cantero Holdings bought 21 acres at U.S. 27 and O’Brien Road in Groveland for $550,000. The site is located near the proposed Villa City, a 2,500-acre residential community planned along the U.S. 27 corridor.

The Groveland project is “a little further away from the market at this point,” while activity is already picking up in the Golden Gem area, Cantero said. “There’s some end users that are coming into the market. It’ll take some time, but I think it is ripe for positioning for the market.”

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