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Dwight Saathoff seeks to develop townhomes at the heart of town center in Winter Springs

Records shown to Winter Springs City Commissioners at a non-binding preliminary review meeting show three different conceptual townhome designs for the planned community. The one featured is a Craftsman design style.
Records shown to Winter Springs City Commissioners at a non-binding preliminary review meeting show three different conceptual townhome designs for the planned community. The one featured is a Craftsman design style. (City of Winter Springs)

The Blumberg family will likely be saying goodbye to their longtime home in Winter Springs.

Though small, the four-bedroom house sits on about 12 acres of land, once part of a larger 30-acre assemblage that’s been slowly chipped away at to make room for a city park, public high school, new roadways and an apartment complex along S.R. 434.

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“It’s close to one of the last properties available to develop in the town center,” Orlando developer Dwight Saathoff told GrowthSpotter. But there’s no hard feelings, property owners Lewis and Juanita Blumberg have lived there for more than 50 years and decided it was time to move on, he said.

Saathoff’s firm, Project Finance and Development, is prepping the land for a future townhome development called Hickory Grove. Plans call for 130, rear-loaded townhouses, to be built by Mattamy Homes, he said. The average price for the two-story residences are slated to be around $325,000.

StoryBook Holdings, led by investor Jose Chaves, is partnering with PFD on the project.

The Blumberg property originally consisted of about 30 acres that have been sold to public and private entities over the years.
The Blumberg property originally consisted of about 30 acres that have been sold to public and private entities over the years. (City of Winter Springs)

The property at 141 Bear Springs Dr. is tucked behind the Winter Springs Town Center shopping plaza along S.R. 434, anchored by Publix Super Markets.

“We’re literally about 100 yards from a Publix, and numerous shops and restaurants,” Saathoff said. “And there’s a beautifully designed linear park with benches and fountains along Blumberg Boulevard where the City of Winter Springs holds annual festivals.”

StoryBook Holdings and Saathoff went before the Winter Springs City Commission, last Monday, for a nonbinding preliminary review. The proposal is consistent with the City’s Town Center Future Land Use and is already zoned for townhome development.

Next steps include submitting a Final Development Plan along with a Final Engineering Plan and Aesthetic Review application.

A conceptual site plan for the Hickory Grove subdivision in Winter Springs show about 130 rear-loaded townhomes.
A conceptual site plan for the Hickory Grove subdivision in Winter Springs show about 130 rear-loaded townhomes. (City of Winter Springs)

The Town Center District Code was initially adopted by the Winter Springs City Commission in 2000 around S.R. 434 and Tuskawilla Road. The concept for the center was to encourage thought-out, community-based development that supports a mix of residential, civic and commercial uses.

Development in the corridor began picking up speed by the end of the Great Recession. On top of that, the city also created a Greeneway Interchange District nearby at the northwest corner of S.R. 417 and S.R. 434, to lure in development on a large stretch of land that sat undeveloped for years.

The property spans about 10 acres on the southwest corner of S.R. 434 and Tuskawilla Rd., nearby the city's growing Greeneway Interchange District.

In the area, Equinox Development to is planning to build a new retail plaza with up to 58,500 square feet of commercial space directly across the Winter Springs Town Center shopping center.

In 2019, Catalyst Development Partners completed its 281-unit apartment community at 151 Michael Blake Boulevard.

A year before that, a partnership between Integra Land Company and CrossHarbor Capital Partners completed a 360-unit apartment community 1700 Integra Land Way.

Currently, Lennar Homes is building out its 379-unit residential subdivision, Tuskawilla Crossing, which is comprised of single-family detached homes and detached bungalow units on lots ranging from 34 feet to 70 feet in width.

And Hawthorn Retirement Group is near completing a 144-room senior living facility nearby called the Savoy Gracious Retirement Living. The project is located at the southeast corner of Michael Blake Boulevard and S.R. 434.

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Saathoff is also behind The Grow master-planned community in east Orange County, which will shape more than 1,185 acres of pasture land between Lake Pickett Road and State Road 50 into a so-called “agrihood” with 2,078 homes and 172,000 square feet of commercial space.

Amenities will include 21 acres of community gardens, a 20-acre community park, 12 miles of recreational trails, edible landscaping, a street for farmers markets and a farm-to-table restaurant.

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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