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Historic citrus packing plant renovation plan in Winter Garden is on track to commence soon

A rendering of the adaptive reuse project for the old citrus packinghouse at 1061 Tildenville School Rd.
A rendering of the adaptive reuse project for the old citrus packinghouse at 1061 Tildenville School Rd.

The adaptive reuse project slated to transform Winter Garden’s old citrus packing plant along West Orange Trail is going before city commissioners this week for its final reading.

City commissioners will vote on the site plan, Thursday. Developer Gary Hasson told GrowthSpotter the project is well on its way to immediately begin construction once commissioners give him the green light.

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He said he anticipates renovation work to begin early next year.

The developer aims to convert the existing five industrial structures on site into a mixed-use project that will feature entertainment, retail and restaurant spaces. It will also allow for office and medical uses.

A conceptual site plan for The Packing Plant shows outdoor gathering space, a bicycle and golf cart lane and access to the 22-mile West Orange Trail.
A conceptual site plan for The Packing Plant shows outdoor gathering space, a bicycle and golf cart lane and access to the 22-mile West Orange Trail. (Winter Garden)

The main 40,000-square-foot, two-story structure on the property will provide about 16,000 square feet of office space on its second floor, he said. The first floor will be designated for eateries, art galleries and community-oriented retailers, he added.

Plans for the other buildings on site include a wellness center and more office space.

Once complete, the 3.7-acre site will feature golf cart parking spaces, bicycle racks, new landscape areas with outdoor seating and a side walk on Tildenville School Road. The development will complement the abutting West Orange Trail to the north, Hasson said.

An elevation of the adaptive reuse of the old citrus packinghouse at 1061 Tildenville School Rd.
An elevation of the adaptive reuse of the old citrus packinghouse at 1061 Tildenville School Rd. (Winter Garden)

Hasson paid $2.1 million for the site last year. He’s talking with several potential tenants and contractors, but hasn’t signed on any just yet, though he did engage architecture firm Studio 407 to design the most recently submitted renderings. RCE Consultants Inc. is the civil engineer.

The packinghouse at 1061 Tildenville School Rd. was developed nearly a century ago by the South Lake Apopka Citrus Growers Association. The organization was made up by a collective of farmers that were attracted to fertile land near the shores of Lake Apopka.

At one point, the cooperative group oversaw the largest citrus operation in Orange County, up until the early 1990′s when citrus processing at the facility was phased out.

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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