A company led by local real estate consultant and developer Chuck Piper is taking advantage of an urban infill opportunity just a couple blocks away from Winter Garden’s Downtown Historic District.
Piper’s Lakeview Village LLC is seeking to rezone a 7.25-acre site north of the Orange Tree Mobile Home Park from R-2 (Residential) to PUD (Planned Unit Development).
The developer is activating plans to transform the vacant property, located west of the South Lakeview Avenue and West Lafayette Street intersection, into a residential community that’s made up of 26 new single-family homes and 14 new townhome units.
“I’ve been studying Winter Garden for quite some time as a potential College Park type community, but it’s probably better than College Park because of its access to major roads,” Piper said.
Piper told GrowthSpotter he reached out to the City Manager several years ago to introduce himself and better understand what the city was planning growth-wise.
City Manager Mike Bollhoefer later introduced Piper to the site as an example of an area prime for redevelopment, but at the time, the property was under contract to another developer.
“I approached the developer and bought it from them,” Piper said. Records show Piper paid a total of $1.54 million for the property in late 2020.
The bulk of the site was assembled by Lakeview Village Estates LLC, which is tied to Pioneer Builders, an avid Winter Garden developer. To add to the assemblage, Piper also bought an adjacent parcel at 224 W. Lafayette St. from William Edward Blaine III and William Edward Blaine IV, who are successor trustees of the Nancy Mann Trust.
“If you think about Winter Garden, Plant Street Market has become this incubator for growth... People are buying homes just a golf cart distance away...I consider this community to be an incubator for growth in the area too.”
Piper said his proposed development will be a market-rate 40-unit residential community with “a beach-town feel.” Features include alley-load home designs, pedestrian walkways, landscape buffering and two stormwater ponds.
The conceptual site plan places a majority of the residences facing a linear park at its center. Homes also feature front porches.
Florida Engineering Group is the civil engineer.
The property is near Winter Garden’s Downtown Historic District, which is known for its trendy retailers and restaurants like the Crooked Can brewery. Over the last several years, developers attracted to the area have proposed new projects such as a boutique hotel, lofty residential units and more office space.
Orlando-based Pioneer Builders is developing a luxury 38-unit apartment building with a small cafe on the first floor, located on the northeast corner of S. Main Street and E. Smith Street. The site was previously used for overflow municipal parking.
And Urban Hideaway Residential, a subsidiary of CynerGreen, is building nine luxury townhomes at 30 N. Park Avenue. Prices begin at $629,000 for smaller units, while larger four-bedroom townhomes are asking close to $1 million.
Piper is an ex-national homebuilder land acquisition executive who has been running his own practice since 2006. Since 1999, Piper said he’s been involved in development projects in various stages that have brought approximately 75,000 lots in Central Florida.
More recently he was involved in entitling land in Clermont that’s now being developed into the 300-plus-lot Lakeview Preserve residential community by a partnership between Pulte Homes and Taylor Morrison.
His rezoning request in Winter Garden is scheduled to go before the City Commission on Oct. 14 with the second reading and adoption anticipated to be on Oct. 28.