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A nearly 90-year-old building in Winter Garden is being restored in new adaptive reuse project

The old warehouse building will be restored and refurbished into a 5,970-square-foot commercial building.
The old warehouse building will be restored and refurbished into a 5,970-square-foot commercial building. (WG Plant LLC)

Developer Donald Wingate wants to restore the old American Water Flo Supply building in Winter Garden into a commercial building fit for a new single-tenant user.

Before it was an irrigation equipment store, the property at 646 E. Plant St. was a repair shop used by the city’s earliest settlers who were citrus growers.

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Today, the 7,850-square-foot warehouse is vacant. Wingate, a Winter Garden-based commercial real estate developer, told GrowthSpotter he plans to remove some of the back warehouse space to make room for parking and add approximately 1,750 square feet of interior space to the front of the building.

The new owner bought the old citrus packing plant with the intention of restoring its architecture and bringing in new tenants that specialize in art and artisan food concepts.

Once complete, the renovation should provide about 5,970 square feet of generic commercial flex space, he said. The developer will maintain the interior look of the old barn, and all of the electrical, plumbing and HVAC will be new.

“It’s an old timber frame building that’s in a little disrepair, but the inside is amazing,” he said, adding that it was hand-built in 1931, making it almost 90 years old. ″When we first bought it I thought about tearing it down, but it’s too meaningful to get rid off.”

Records show, WG Plant LLC, a company managed by Wingate, paid $158,000 for the 0.41-acre property in 2013.

He said he envisioned a micro-distillery operation taking place in the building, but admits he’s repositioning the property to be suitable for a whole range of potential commercial tenants.

“It’s a blank canvas. Totally new and soon-to-be ready to go,” he said.

Stephen E. Davis Architects Inc. is the architect. Richardson Engineering, based out of Orlando, is the civil engineer. Hortus Oasis Inc. is doing the landscaping.

The developer is currently seeking site plan approvals from the City of Winter Garden.

The lot is near Winter Garden’s historic downtown center, which features a range of trendy commercial, residential, institutional and mixed-use developments, all within close proximity to each other.

Developers active in the area include, Urban Hideaway Residential, a subsidiary of the eco-friendly product company CynerGreen, which is planning a luxury townhome community at 30 N. Park Avenue. Prices for townhomes range from about $629,000 to close to $1 million.

Last year, hotel developer JA Hospitality scored final approvals to develop a new boutique hotel in the area — the region’s first in nearly a century.

And nearby, the city’s old citrus packing plant is also being repurposed to feature about 52,000 square feet of commercial space that will showcase food vendors. artisan retailers, a museum and art exhibits.

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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