Mount Dora retirement village plans major expansion
By Jerry Stockfisch
Jul 16, 2019 | 4:00 PM
The popular Waterman Village senior living complex in Mount Dora is about to leapfrog North Donnelly Street, with plans under way for a lakeside complex on the east side of Donnelly south of U.S. Highway 441 to complement Waterman’s flagship Oaks community on the west side.
The new complex, Lakeside at Waterman Village, will bring 240 units to 37 acres surrounding Lake Margaret. Fifty-eight units will be in 29 duplex cottages of 4,800 square feet; 12 units will be in a trio of fourplex cottages of roughly 13,000 square feet; and 170 units will be in four large, four-story independent-living apartment buildings of up to 53,000 square feet.
“We felt it was time to broaden the services we provide to seniors,” said Andrew Dujon, president and chief executive of Waterman Village LLC, the landowner. “We had all that longtime success across the street, the time is just right.”
Building on the east side provides another new amenity – waterfront living, Dujon said.
The Oaks community, which rose in 1989, has been at capacity for years, and a waiting list of roughly 250 people would take years to whittle down, he said.
The description to “leapfrog” N Donnelly Street is accurate – Dujon said his company is working with the city on a pedestrian overpass that would serve residents passing between the east and west communities and the businesses and services on opposite sides of the road. In addition to traditional retail-commercial offerings surrounding the busy Donnelly/441 intersection, the two communities offer assisted living, health and rehabilitation, memory care and other senior services.
The bridge could also serve as a “welcome” sign and public art opportunity for the city of Mount Dora, Dujon said.
Plans include a “North Entrance Road” that would border the north side of the property perpendicular to Donnelly Street. Booth, Ern, Straughan & Hiott of Tavares is serving as both engineer/planner and surveyor for the project.
The developer is Greystone Communities of Irving, Texas. Greystone has advised more than 500 owners of senior living properties in 42 states, and is active in 13 Florida communities.
The project has the Planned Unit Development zoning it required, and permitting and site plan review is underway. Because Waterman Village is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit and will seek tax-exempt bonds, the company must get commitments for sale of 75 percent of the units before financing can be finalized. Dujon said he’s confident that will be achieved and construction can begin in the first quarter of 2020.
“You have to build today for what’s coming down the road tomorrow,” he said, noting the surge in demand for senior living in Florida.