Developer Michael Halpin and his wife Heidi are spearheading a new project together in Winter Park.
Creative Neighbors LLC, a company managed by the Halpins, is pursuing plans to demolish an aging church property at 740 and 760 N. Lakemont Ave. and build a new one, along with a new residential community on about five acres beside it.
Plans call for a mix of 12 townhome villas and 14 single-family homes. According to a project summary submitted to the city, the townhomes are being designed to feature two units per building.
Conceptual plans for the townhome villas describe them as offering 2,800 square feet of space under air, with four bedrooms, an optional elevator, 150 square feet of landscaped courtyard space, two-car garage with two additional off-street parking spaces and open porches.
Single-family home lots range in size from 7,658 square feet to over 8,000 square feet. Buyers will be able to choose from three yet-to-be-determined luxury homebuilders. Michael Halpin told GrowthSpotter prices for the townhomes will likely begin in the $700,000 range, while the vacant single-family home lots are anticipated to command between $800,000 to $900,000.
The project summary states the townhomes are being designed to share a cohesive appearance to the single-family homes, with a front door entrance facing the street. Each unit, however, would also have a separate side entrance.
The community, Enclave at Winter Park, is being proposed to feature a centralized park that spans about a third of an acre. Amenities mentioned in the project summary include a half-mile fitness pathway along the perimeter of the property and lush landscaping, as well as a large tree canopy.
“We have carefully designed the development to protect over 90% of existing trees and will work to prune, protect and encourage the continued growth of the enormous Oak trees throughout our new community,” the summary states.
As a long-time member of the church, Halpin said he managed to work out a deal with the congregation to avoid its closing and help provide sufficient funds necessary to improve the property.
“My wife and I are doing this because it’s our church,” he said. “I haven’t worked on a development in a while, but like the old Godfather III quote: Just when I thought I was out...they pull me back in.”
Halpin has been behind a number of infill housing projects throughout Orlando’s downtown area and was also known for converting some of its apartment buildings into condos in the mid-2000s. For the last couple of years, he said he’s focused primarily on his property management businesses.
The Winter Park Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) opened in the 1950s and currently consists of a school facility, 200-seat sanctuary, fellowship hall and meeting space, which is used as a local voting center for its precinct, in three buildings totaling about 13,000 square feet.
Plans for its redevelopment include the construction of a new, roughly 6,550-square-foot church building along Lakemont Avenue. The proposed facility has 150 seats, parking for 38 vehicles and a circular drop-off area.
CivilCorp Engineering Inc. is the engineer for the residential portion.
The redevelopment plans will be discussed at a Winter Park Planning and Zoning work session meeting next week.
The project is similar to another single-family home community nearby in the city, for the fact that the developer also reworked a site owned by a church entity to make way for new luxury homes.
Winter Park developer Condev is in the middle of building and selling its 10-home community near Park Avenue. The development was a result of a deal with Condev and the First Church of Christ Scientist, which worked with the developer to split the then 2.4-acre lot that the congregation had owned for decades.
The religious institution completed building a roughly 7,000-square-foot sanctuary on the southern parcel in 2019.
Neighboring the residential project and church building is Hill Grey Seven’s Park Hill luxury townhome community, which recently closed out sales to the tune of $31 million. Park Hill is made up of 10 three-story townhomes that range between 3,300 square feet to 4,300 square feet. Each unit consists of three bedrooms and three full baths.
Enclave at Winter Park is located west of the Mayflower Retirement Center, which broke ground on a 16-acre expansion plan earlier this year that will feature a new clubhouse, an 85,000-square-foot health center and 50 new residences across five new residential buildings surrounding the health center.
A couple of miles east, along Aloma Avenue, luxury apartment developer Epoch Residential is in the midst of building a 178-unit active adult community at 3045 Aloma Avenue.