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Westminster plans $4.5M learning center building at Winter Park community

Circled in red on this photo is a rendering of how the new lifelong learning center building will be placed on the Westminster Winter Park property. This view is from Lake Berry.
Circled in red on this photo is a rendering of how the new lifelong learning center building will be placed on the Westminster Winter Park property. This view is from Lake Berry. (Stewart & Conners Architects)

Westminster Communities of Florida is seeking city approval for a new activities and events building on the lakefront of its 42-acre community in Winter Park, a projected $4.5 million investment for which the company should select a general contractor in Spring 2017, a lead executive with the company told GrowthSpotter.

Located at 1111 S. Lakemont Ave. on Lake Berry, the owner-operator is requesting conditional use approval to build a new 16,650-square-foot Lifelong Learning Center building at its Westminster Winter Park senior living community.

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The proposed building would be set between the community's main nine-story tower and its parking garage. Westminster Winter Park has about 550 residents living amongst three apartment buildings and single-story homes.

A site plan of the Westminster Winter Park property's central area, with the proposed lifelong learning center building placed in between the existing main tower and the parking garage. A future garden apartment building is included on the lower right.
A site plan of the Westminster Winter Park property's central area, with the proposed lifelong learning center building placed in between the existing main tower and the parking garage. A future garden apartment building is included on the lower right. (Florida Engineering Group)

The new Lifelong Learning Center would host lectures from Rollins College that are currently held in smaller spaces at the community. The centerpiece of the project would be a 400-seat auditorium with a stage to host music and theater productions. Floor plans also show a lobby and breakout area for social gatherings, and and outdoor patio.

"We recognize that our residents are looking for a bit more upscale facilities to have concerts, meetings and more," said Chris Wickberg, vice president of design and construction.

"We hope to get started on construction in the spring or summer of next year, which would run 14 months. We'll likely look locally to select three to four contractors in the spring to ask for qualifications, and then do a qualified bid for the work."

The new building would still leave enough floor area ratio on the Westminster property under its R-4 zoning to allow for a future "garden apartment building" of 28,314 square feet, part of the formerly named "WP Towers" master plan.

The new Lifelong Learning Center would also support residents from the 80-unit Westminster Baldwin Park, which is now under construction a half mile away and expected to open some time in 2017.

Equivalent to a Development Plan, the request goes before Winter Park's Planning and Zoning Board on Nov. 1, with city staff recommending approval. It would then go before City Commissioners on Nov. 28, with construction plans likely submitted by January, said Sam Sebaali, civil engineer on the project for Florida Engineering Group.

Stewart & Conners Architects out of Charlotte and Verlander Landscape Architecture of Altamonte Springs are also contributors to the project.

Westminster Communities of Florida has approximately 7,000 residents across 20 properties in Florida, which offer active lifestyles and emphasize well-being and lifelong learning.

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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