Family-owned Reinhold Corporation just bought a recently completed retail building that directly abuts a Wendy’s fast-food restaurant along Winter Park’s Fairbanks Avenue.
The firm is an equity investor in private businesses that also oversees a wholesale tree nursery, and has interests in timber, land and real estate ventures. Records show, affiliated company Reinhold Winter Park Properties LLC paid $5.3 million for the 0.75-acre property at 1350 West Fairbanks Avenue.
After much deliberation between city staff and board members who denied proposed development plans for the site several times in the past, Leon was finally able to build and complete the 2,700-square-foot Wendy’s and its 6,240-square-foot sister retail center — now being occupied by the radiology and imaging outpatient center, SimonMed, Leon’s vice president of development, Adam Smith, told GrowthSpotter.
“It took almost two years, and it took some creativity, but we got it all worked out,” Smith said. While stand-alone fast-food restaurants are the norm, pushing the two buildings together to make it look as if they were connected, was one of the ways Leon was able to move forward with the project, he adds.
Originally, the company sought to rezone the property and change its land use, but after being denied the company submitted an application seeking Conditional Use approval that would allow for a drive-thru component. The request was hastily approved by Winter Park’s Planning and Zoning Commission last year.
“Winter Park I think has done a good job with cultivating what it wants to see,” Smith said. When the company first proposed to develop the property, Smith said the city had just updated its Comprehensive Plan. “Only in certain scenarios would the city allow a drive-thru,” he said.
The developer was working with city staff and residents to find some middle ground and develop a project that would make sense for the city as well as future tenants. As part of that, Leon also made some right-of-way improvements by extending a left-turn lane accessing the project.
The City of Winter Park has spent at least $8 million installing a sanitary sewer line system and new traffic and street lights in the corridor. In addition, a $12 million grant from the Florida Department of Transportation helped bury electric transmission lines. That project is near completion.
Updates to the infrastructure along Fairbanks Avenue is drawing interest from more developers who may help revitalizing the area.
Tech and healthcare entrepreneur Christopher Tracy is looking build a new two-story, 10,000-square-foot office development along Fairbanks Avenue, where Paco’s Mexican Restaurant closed in 2016 after 35 years in business. The site also contains a closed electronic cigarette store and cell tower.
Property owner Jim Veigle is also rounding up about three acres of land north of Kentucky Avenue and east of I-4 for redevelopment. No plans for the property have been submitted to the city yet. The owner is looking to annex about two acres of the property into the city of Winter Park.