Winter Garden's first downtown apartments in years are close to a construction start, and the developers are looking for restaurant, office, and retail tenants for the 8,600 square feet of commercial space planned for the ground level of a three-story mixed-use building.
"We will hire a leasing agent in the very near future for the downstairs commercial," said John Rinehart of Civitas Consulting Inc., one of three partners in development entity Tremain Boyd LLC.
Market rate rental apartments are planned for the second and third floors. A leasing agent for the apartments will be hired several months before the building is completed, expected to be in early Summer 2018.
The partners of Tremaine Boyd LLC are planning to close on the land at 109 S. Boyd St. at the corner of Tremaine and Boyd Streets on May 10. The group is buying the land from the City of Winter Garden for $177,000.
The city, eager to bring more housing to its downtown, issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) in November 2015 for development of a city-owned parking lot, with a specific focus on multi-story mixed use.
The offer by Rinehart and partners was selected and taken to vote by city commissioners in late July 2016.
Rinehart said construction is planned to start in June, and is in pre-lease negotiations with a potential tenant for one of the three restaurant spaces, which he declined to name.
The building is designed with interior walls to allow for a variety of configurations and sizes for restaurants, commercial, or office tenants. The space is permitted for as many as three.
The second and third floors will have 22 apartments, ranging from studios of 660 square feet to two bedroom-units with 1,120 square feet. Total development cost is expected to reach $5 million.
J&J Building is the general contractor, and potential subcontractors are asked to contact that company.
Rinehart expects the apartments will be popular, just a block from Plant Street and its rapidly growing dining and retail scene, as well as the West Orange Trail.
"We are pretty excited about it," he said. "The last 10 years [of growth] have been spectacular for Winter Garden. The city has been a good partner in this."
The three partners in the development are Rinehart with Civitas Consulting, Frank Starkey with People Places LLC and Jim Costello with J&J Building. Both Rinehart and Costello have roots in Winter Garden.