A St. Cloud man is seeking to turn two trailer parks in southeast Orlando into a residential/business center that will include nearly 100,000 square feet of commercial/retail space and 250 apartments.
Abdulrahman Al Helayel has petitioned the City of Orlando to annex 45 acres from Orange County in hopes that the city's land use rules will be more accommodating to the kind of development he is seeking.
The swath of land, between Narcoossee Road and Lake Whippoorwill would also contain 70 townhomes and 30,000 square feet of office space under Helayel's plans.
The area where Helayel wants to build has been the subject of protests by area residents who have been watching Orlando take in annexations and allow more development. Orange County zoning in that area only allows one home for every two acres.
Orlando, on the other hand, has no such rule and permits denser building, said attorney Miranda F. Fitzgerald of Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed.
Helayel is conducting the matter through two limited liability companies—Al Yamama LLC and Al Kharj, LLC -- which together hold 10 attached parcels that are about five miles from growing Lake Nona.
Right now, the land serves as the Lake Whippoorwill Mobile Home Park and the Barton Lake Mobile Home Park.
In accordance with state law, residents were given six months to find new places to live. Certified letters were sent in September to the roughly 40 mobile homes on the property, Fitzgerald said.
Orlando's Municipal Planning Board is expected to consider the annexation request at its Jan. 19 meeting.
Approval could come in March or April and "the game plan is to start as soon as we get permits," Fitzgerald said.