With an eye toward the growing number of self-employed Americans, three Central Florida firms are preparing to build sustainable, live/work townhomes a stone's throw from downtown Lake Mary and one block from the city's SunRail station.
Field and Form, a sustainable real estate development firm, is teaming with Collage Construction and Scott+Cormia Architecture + Interiors on the townhomes that will soon be built on E. Wilbur Avenue in downtown Lake Mary. Preconstruction sale of the first four units began Monday with prices starting at $474,000.
Construction should start in December on the first four "East Wilbur" townhomes with completion in May, Stonecypher Maslow told GrowthSpotter. Construction will then start immediately on four more of the buildings.
The homes will feature 2,520 square feet of conditioned area, three bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms spread over three floors. The ground floor has flexible work space that can be used as a studio, office, retail store or even a small café. The townhomes also include detached two-car garages and Florida-friendly, landscaped back yards.
As in every real estate development, the most important ingredient is location. Field and Form planners saw plenty of upside with the site, within five minutes walking distance from the SunRail station and Lake Mary's quaint and pedestrian-friendly downtown.
"We definitely picked Lake Mary because it's very reminiscent of an Old Florida, walkable town," said Stonecypher Maslow, adding that the downtown's proximity to the SunRail stop is comparable to Winter Park's downtown area.
"Lake Mary has a similar vibe," she said. "We also have a SunRail station within walking distance of downtown. It's something that's rare. It's a huge draw that brought us to this area."
In developing true live/work townhomes, the coalition will give Lake Mary something that's hard to find in Winter Park or any place else in Central Florida for that matter. Field and Form studied some of the top live/work townhomes in the country and took what they thought were the best characteristics for the Lake Mary project.
The ground-floor level features a full bathroom, kitchenette and 820 square feet of flexible space that can be used for retail, office, studio, restaurant or residential. The owners, who have secondary, private entry to the second and third floors, can even rent that ground-level space for another revenue stream.
The upstairs "live" levels will feature an open kitchen with solid-wood, Shaker-style cabinetry, sustainable butcher block countertops and Energy Star rated appliances. The floors are Florida-grown and milled, heart pine flooring.
Field and Form, which bills itself as a sustainable, and transit-oriented developer, chose to incorporate and energy-efficient design that includes Energy Star, low-e, double-hung windows and LED lighting.