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Wendover activates senior housing development within future town center in Pine Hills

Wendover activates senior housing development within future town center in Pine Hills
A picture of a Wendover Housing Partners senior affordable housing project in Apopka called Brixton Landing. (Orange County)

Altamonte Springs-based Wendover Housing Partners just activated plans for a senior affordable housing development that is expected to anchor the future town center underway in Pine Hills.

According to recently submitted Preliminary Review Item, officials behind the development are scheduled to meet with Orange County planners next week to discuss long-time plans for a 122-unit, rent-restricted development for seniors.

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The pre-application meeting may be scheduled to change due to the hurricane.

A company spokesperson said Wendover secured $2.3 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credits through the Florida Housing Finance Corporation. In 2017, the project was issued a $567,000 loan from Orange County.

A conceptual site plan of the proposed Hawthorne Park Apartments development at 5300 Silver Star Rd.
A conceptual site plan of the proposed Hawthorne Park Apartments development at 5300 Silver Star Rd. (Orange County)

The senior housing community, dubbed Hawthorne Park Apartments, is slated to cost about $19.4 million to develop and would require demolishing a sizable portion of the formerly foreclosed on Silver Pines Shopping Center at 5300 Silver Star Rd., near Ocoee.

The entire shopping center sits on about 15 acres on the southwest corner of Silver Star and Pine Hills roads. Plans indicate the senior housing development will rise on about six acres on the eastern edge of the property.

A conceptual site plan shows Hawthorne Park will feature a grand entrance porte cochere leading residents and visitors to its lobby. Amenities also include gardening space, a pool, retail space and an activity center.

Wendover is expected to break ground on the project in the first quarter of 2020. Slocum Platts Architects of Maitland is designing the complex.

The expected completion date is slated for the first quarter of 2021, the company spokesperson said.

Hawthorne Park plays a critical role in the overall initiative to revitalize the area.

It serves to be the anchor of the Pine Hills Neighborhood Improvement District’s town center redevelopment project, which was formulated in partnership with Orange County’s Planning Division and the American Planning Association after being established in 2011.

A map showing some recent or proposed projects to improve Pine Hills' gateway intersection.
A map showing some recent or proposed projects to improve Pine Hills' gateway intersection. (Pine Hills Neighborhood Improvement District)

The 30-year plan intends to help stimulate economic investment and support neighborhood businesses in Pine Hills. As a result, the NID set out on an improvement project to enhance security in the area and create a town center along Silver Star Road.

Other plans include streetscape improvements and a multimillion-dollar Lynx transfer station at Silver Star Road and Belco Drive that the Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority acquired in 2017 for $530,000. It’s scheduled to open in 2020.

Also a part of the improvement project, Orange County opened the first section of a multi-phase $12.2 million bicycle-pedestrian trail that stretches eight miles, beginning at Alhambra Drive and extending north to Silver Star Road.

The trail head of the first phase sits adjacent to the proposed Hawthorne Park development. A spur from the trail leads to Barnett Park. Pine Hills Elementary School and Rolling Hills Baseball Complex are also within a quarter mile of the trail.

Once complete, the second and third phases will extend north to the Seminole-Wekiva Trail at the Orange-Seminole County line. At the southern end, the Pine Hills Trail joins the Shingle Creek Trail, which connects to Osceola County’s extension of the Shingle Creek trail to downtown Kissimmee.

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Other developers active in the area includes Miami-based Related Group. The company’s affordable housing arm, Related Urban Development Group, recently broke ground on the second phase of its Emerald Villas affordable housing project that adds 96 housing units to its first phase, which consisted of renovating 264 units for very low-income seniors.

Wendover recently broke ground on Warley Park, a $20 million, 81-unit apartment complex that will provide homes for the homeless at 1500 W. 25th St. in Sanford.

Earlier this month, GrowthSpotter reported plans submitted by the company to build another project in Sanford called Norton Commons. The proposed development at 2580 Ridgewood Ave. consists of building 68 affordable apartment units for seniors 55 years of age and older.

In 2017, it opened a similar project called Brixton Landing, which consists of 80 income-restricted units for people of the age 55 and up.

The privately held real estate development, investment and management company is also developing a 205-unit, market-rate multi-family community called Weston 4 Hundred that will rise adjacent to the SunRail station in downtown Kissimmee.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at arabines@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 420-5427, or tweet me at @amanda_rabines. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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