Local developer Anil Sant has signed a notable anchor tenant for his Lakeside Neighborhood retail center in Horizon West, the nationally recognized Peaches School of Dance and Music, following plan approvals earlier this week and groundbreaking set for March.
Sant Commercial Building has developed other small retail projects in Greater Orlando, including three locations for Starchild Academy, a child care learning center that ranges in size from 20,000-50,000 square feet.
Sant's newest project in Windermere is Lakeside Neighborhood, a 20,000-square-foot retail center to be built on the northeast corner of Reams Road and Taborfield Avenue, a few miles north of Walt Disney World's entrance to Magic Kingdom.
Eight thousand square feet is now pre-leased for Peaches School of Dance and Music Orlando, which projects to be one of the largest performance arts studios in Central Florida.
"Peaches was a good fit for us because they'll get a natural referral base from our (Starchild) preschools in the area," Sant told GrowthSpotter on Wednesday. "It will be located less than a half mile from our newest Starchild Academy in Windermere."
Founded by Leslie "Peaches" Jarvis-Gettis in 1987 in North Miami Beach, the Peaches School became a nationally recognized performance arts school over 26 years with up to 600 students, before Jarvis-Gettis sold it in August 2013.
The sale was motivated by a desire to be closer to her sister in Windermere, Elida Wallack, wife of developer Joshua Wallack of Mango's Tropical Cafe Orlando and the proposed Skyplex entertainment complex. Elida Wallack was previously a teacher at the Peaches School before moving to Orlando in 2013, and is expected to be involved with the new studio.
"We took our time looking at locations here that might work for the school, were in the Windermere area one day and fell in love with this property," said Steve Gettis, who is husband to Peaches, co-owner of the new school and principal in Gettis Bernal & Associates, an insurance brokerage in Miami focused on large commercial accounts. "It was an easy decision with all the residential nearby, and a new K-8 school planned for across the street."
The Peaches School's square footage in Windermere will be slightly bigger than its former Miami location (7,500 square feet). At least $250,000 will be invested by the Gettis family in interior buildout this summer, with a target opening of Sept. 1 in time for the start of a new school year.
The remaining 12,000 square feet in Sant's development will be occupied by family-friendly services, including a Kumon academic tutoring center and a family dental practice. About 4,000 square feet remain available, which can be subdivided further.
Sant's Lakeside Neighborhood earned approval on Tuesday from Orange County Commissioners for its Development Plan, and donation of right of way along Reams Road. Construction on the project should begin in March, with AC Development Group of Oviedo serving as designer and general contractor, and SK Consortium, Inc., as civil engineer.
Projected investment by Sant on Lakeside Neighborhood is $4 million or more through buildout.
Sant was introduced to the Gettis family last year by mutual friend Randall W. Gill, a local broker associate with Coldwell Banker.
"He saw that connection between us, and after getting together we saw the Gettis' demographic target matched up with Starchild, and the trend of residential growth in this area," Sant said.
"On this side of Windermere, even though we have so many houses being built there are very few options for family arts activities," he continued. "This will be a solution for that as one of the largest arts studios in Central Florida."