Highlighted in red is the property planned for Avalon Groves in Lake County's Wellness Way area.
Highlighted in red is the property planned for Avalon Groves in Lake County's Wellness Way area. (Lake County Property Appraiser)

Lake County has approved a preliminary plan for Avalon Groves, a 987-acre development with approval for 1,659 homes and some neighborhood commercial development that would kick off new home construction in South Lake County's Wellness Way area.

Just before the Lake County Commission approval on Oct. 12, the developer, Kolter Land Partners, bought the property from Hearthstone Inc. and Stonehill Capital Management for $16.5 million.


Kolter Land Partners did not return telephone calls seeking comment on a time frame for the new development. However, in March company president Jim Harvey said he hopes to be building homes as early as 2017.

Development could start later this year on Wellness Way's first residential community, but for now the applicant needs a key zoning approval extension.

A Lake County planner said the county is expecting construction plans soon from Kolter.

The development is the first in the county's Wellness Way planning footprint, which is still short of full adoption because of legal challenges.

Besides increasing the population of South Lake County over time, the Avalon Groves development will have a quicker impact. The developer plans to build a road through Avalon Groves to the Orange County line, which will connect U.S. 27 to Disney World at Western Way and S.R. 429.

Avalon Grove plans to build part of the road to the east, while Disney plans to extend Western Way west to meet it, Harvey said last March.

"That is an obvious connection for Orange County where growth is happening," said Harvey. "I do see this South Lake area becoming a major new growth area for Central Florida."

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