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Winter Park seeks bids from residential developers for Blake Yard site

Winter Park seeks bids from residential developers for Blake Yard site
Highlighted in blue is the 0.45-acre parcel at 301 W. Comstock Ave., two blocks south of W. New England Avenue. (Orange County Property Appraiser)

The City of Winter Park will seek purchase bids and development proposals over the next month for a 0.45-acre public property in its downtown envisioned for new townhomes, according to a Notice of Disposal published on Monday.

Located at 301 W. Comstock Ave., one and a half blocks from Park Avenue, the site was rezoned in November to R-2 with a Future Land Use designation of Low Density Residential, to prepare it for the desired redevelopment.

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Formerly known as the Blake Yard site, it used to house electric utilities equipment until new David Weekley townhomes started being built around it, prompting the city to relocate its storage yard.

The city is interested in selling the property for a cash offer, and a commitment to develop it with residential units and related parking. The city will not accept offers that require a zoning change.

Based on the parcel size of 19,125 square feet and maximum densities allowed in R-2 zoning, a developer could build up to four townhomes with up to 10,518 square feet of total floor space.

Bid proposals must detail the cash offer, terms and anticipated closing date, as well as a preliminary plan and elevations of the property's intended use.

The city prefers to see residential design with architectural uniqueness and diversity within the site elevations, it wrote in the NOD summary.

Sealed bid proposals are due to Winter Park's Purchasing Division at city hall by 10 a.m. on March 28. Bobby Palta, first vice president with CBRE in Orlando, is the city's representative for the property.

The Blake Yard site is close to Winter Park's downtown, but also borders the train tracks. Winter Park has approved a quiet zone for the railroad and has the funding budgeted, but will require two years to get the city's 17 lane crossings with train tracks reconfigured, before a quiet zone can be implemented.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at bmoser@growthspotter.com, (407) 420-5685 or @bobmoser333. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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