The City of Winter Springs wants to grow. And it's got close to 300 acres on which to do it.
The Greeneway Interchange District, at the northwest corner of SR 417 and SR 434, is largely undeveloped – there are some cleared areas, some agriculture, a bit of citrus – but Winter Springs is ready to hear what developers can bring to the figurative table of their growing municipality.
"The GID is … well-located for access to the Sanford International Airport, OIA and Lake Nona," Community Development Manager Randy Stevenson told Growthspotter. "And there's very little aggregation that would be necessary. Two property owners hold the majority of the acreage, and they are already on board for the development.
The city has its own visions of what could be.
"We're looking at corporate, at educational, maybe a small hotel with a convention center-type property," Stevenson said. "And for sure some commercial – a place to get a cup of coffee, a small restaurant – there's room for all types of entities in a smaller, campus-like setting."
The area, he said, is ripe for development. Construction for the 30-acre Integra 360 apartment community is already underway, with Jacksonville-based LandSouth Construction at the helm.
"Winter Springs' tax base is about 88 percent residential already," Stevenson explained. "The [remaining GID acreage] is one of the gems in the city where we're hoping to get that corporate, non-residential businesses we're looking for to help diversify."
Another 10 acres, adjacent to Integra, is zoned commercial and held, at present, by Volusia County-headquartered residential home developer ICI Homes.
"We're focused primarily on Class A office on the eastern portion of the 10 acres and have had discussions with some restaurant operators for the area that's on the western part," David Haas, president/MHK of Volusia at ICI Homes told GrowthSpotter.
For the moment, Haas said, they're in a bit of a holding pattern as construction on Integra 360 continues, though ICI Homes is fielding mostly unsolicited requests for information from different businesses that see the location as prime.
"You've got a whole lot of rooftops in that area," he noted. "And there's quite a bit of traffic on that road …. It's the whole package that makes it work."
ICI Homes will not be developing the parcels, however. They'll be sold when the Integra construction wraps, infrastructure already in place. "It's highly unlikely we'll do a listing, but anybody ... who's interested can contact ICI Homes."
Outside the small commercial segment, Winter Springs' Stevenson says further development could see some corporate apartments in the mix, but that the city would rather give area residents a new place to work – and even play – in the GID.
"Lake Jesup is close, the Cross Seminole Trail is close," he noted. "We're looking at maybe joining it in some fashion with the BRT (bus rapid transit) to the Town Center or even a trail so those who live there could hop on their bikes and head to work, without getting on the major roads. We've got just about any type of residential unit that someone could want already in place close by."
Less than two miles from the heart of the GID, Winter Springs Town Center is a vast mix of retail, office and residential – 300-plus acres' worth – with extensive development still underway.
City planners have had their eye on the property for a while, Stevenson noted. They're ready to see what developers can bring to the table.
"We envision exciting things in the GID," he said. "We know that somebody will recognize its value."