City Center West Orange developer buys key infill site for Phase 2 of Ocoee project

City Center West Orange developer buys key infill site for Phase 2 of Ocoee project
A December 2017 aerial photo showing progress with roads and infrastructure at the City Center West Orange project. In this photo, east is at the top of the image, with S. Bluford Avenue running horizontal/diagonal across the screen, and the focal Lake Bennett near the top. (Aerial Innovations)

More land was added last week for the second residential phase of City Center West Orange in Ocoee, with an affiliate of developer Park Development Corp. paying more than $5.489 million to fill a large gap in the project's footprint.

More than 32 acres across five parcels (22 acres developable) were acquired, bounded by Maine Street to the south, Richmond Avenue to the west and Chicago Avenue to the east.


It makes up the last large block of land that the developer needed to acquire for City Center West Orange, giving it an ownership stake in more than 71 gross acres north of Maine Street, and more than 33 developable acres south of Maine Street on the western shore of Lake Bennett.

The land bought on Jan. 2 has been earmarked in project marketing materials for Phase 2 condominiums and apartments, a movie theater and other commercial space.

It follows another 4.7 acres bought in June 2017 at 1100 Maguire Road, where an extension of Maine Street will provide better traffic flow into the City Center project.

The top coat of asphalt for Phase 1 roads has been finished, except for some area along Lake Bennett, CEO David Townsend told GrowthSpotter on Wednesday.

Dewatering activity on the lake started in mid-December, and a contractor is expected to follow that with construction of a prefabricated Con/Span boardwalk along the waterfront, which should be completed over the next six months.

Work on building foundations for Phase 1 is expected to start within four months, and Terra Max Engineering is producing plans now for phases 2 and 3 north of Maine Street, Townsend said. Clearing and grading work on those two phases is expected to start by September.

However, no horizontal construction plans or Development Plan for Phase 2 have been presented to Ocoee staff, according to city planner Michael Rumer.

The buyer entity, Lake Bennett Village - Ocoee, LLC, sourced a $6 million mortgage for the land acquisition from CCW03 PFS LLC, another investment vehicle of Townsend's in the City Center West Orange project.

Sellers of the most recent land north of Maine Street were investment affiliates and family members of the deceased Milton "Claude" Hawthorne, whose family owned the Hawthorne Groves Service and was a fixture in Ocoee's citrus and produce industries for decades.

A remaining one-acre parcel owned by Skytop Grove Ltd., an affiliate managed by Charles E. Hawthorne, Jr. and partners, is under contract for purchase, Townsend said.

City Center West Orange's first phase of 15 acres, projected to open in 2019, should include two buildings of up to eight stories each with structured parking, a combined 500 condo units, more than 200,000 square feet of retail space and a 122-room hotel.

To be developed over three phases, City Center West Orange is projected to have 2,500 condo and apartment units, buildings dedicated to short-term vacation rentals, 500,000 square feet of retail, the hotel and recreational trails.

Estimated investment in the 15-acre first phase is approximately $150 million. Park Development's affiliate EB5 Florida Real Estate Regional Center is USCIS-approved for EB-5 foreign investments, has been approved for $100 million by the government agency.

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