An aerial view of where Riviera Hills is being planned. Grassmere Reserve is another residential community being planned by Mercury Advisors , nearby.
An aerial view of where Riviera Hills is being planned. Grassmere Reserve is another residential community being planned by Mercury Advisors , nearby. (Orange County Property Appraiser/GrowthSpotter)

Environmental permits were just submitted for a longtime planned residential community in the Zellwood area of northwest Orange County.

The 72 acres of land just north of 2600 Fairbluff Rd. was originally set to become a mobile home community with nearly 300 home pads. Then later, in 2008, the current landowner sought entitlements to build an age-restricted residential community with up to 290 site-built homes.

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Both those plans fell through. Subsequently, the land remained vacant, although that may soon change.

D.R. Horton has been working with land owner Silvestri Investments to amend the Zellwood Station Land Use Plan in order to remove the age restriction.

Plans call for building 277 single-family homes. The community will consist of about 2.4 acres of open space, including two parks on opposite sides of the community. Certain homes will feature water views and views of the Zellwood Station Country Club golf course just south of the property.

A site plan for Riviera Hills shows the residential community will consist of 277 single-family homes along with two parks on separate ends of the community.
A site plan for Riviera Hills shows the residential community will consist of 277 single-family homes along with two parks on separate ends of the community. (DR Horton/Evans Engineering filings)

According to the Master Site Plan filed in the St. Johns River Water Management District, the single-family home community, dubbed Riviera Hills, will be developed in two phases. The first phase will consist of 137 lots on about 45 acres of land. The remaining 140 lots will be built within the second phase. The site plan shows lots feature a minimum width of 50 feet.

Earlier this summer, Orange County’s Development Review Committee approved the revised plans, including land use changes and a Preliminary Subdivision Plan filed by the developer last year.

Silvestri Investments paid about $1.1 million for the land in 2008. The company, founded in 1955, is a privately held, family-owned real estate investment firm with offices in Canada, Florida and Texas. According to its website, it specializes in land banking, shopping center development and commercial real estate development.

Representatives at the firm and D.R. Horton were not immediately available to comment.

Development activity for its Riviera Hills project comes off the heels of Tampa-based Mercury Advisors activating development plans for its proposed 98 single-family home community called Grassmere Reserve. The project is slated to start construction by the second quarter of next year. It sits close by, on the southeast corner of Ponkan Road and Junction Road.

If all goes through for Grassmere Reserve and Riviera Hills, the residential communities will join other significant developments happening nearby in Apopka — one of them being BlueScope Properties Group’s 178-acre Mid-Florida Logistics Park, where Goya Foods is planning to open a new 330,566-square-foot distribution center on the southeast corner of Hermit Smith and General Electric Road.

Once complete, Mid-Florida Logistics Park will feature 2.4 million square feet of industrial space.

In July, Atlanta-based multifamily development and property management firm Wood Partners filed a development plan for a 285‐unit apartment community west of SR 429 and east of Lake Apopka at 2001 and 2209 South Binion Road. Plans also call for more than four acres of commercial development fronting Harmon Road.

Wood Partners is also in the midst of seeking environmental resource permits with the St. Johns River Water Management District.

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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