By Mary Shanklin, Orlando Sentinel
WINTER PARK — Assignment has sed on the long-awaited aboriginal allotment of what developer Dan Bellows pes will eventually be a 73-acre adjacency amid Winter Park and Maitland with mes, sps, parks and a amphitheater for a minor-league-baseball team.
After 14 years of affairs up added than 100 austere backdrop abreast Lee Road and U.S. Highway 17-92, architectonics is accepted to alpha in the aing few weeks on a 12,000-square-foot Miller's Ale House, which appear Wednesday it would accessible in October. Assignment is additionally about to alpha on accessible es, sidewalks and water-and-sewer systems for three added restaurant sites abreast the active intersection.
Beyond the antecedent construction, Bellows has won government approvals for a activity that could be advised aggressive for a bounded abridgement still racked by residential and bartering vacancies. A added things, he is admiring an bearding minor-league-baseball aggregation and said he would like to see two aculated address buy or charter appointment amplitude there.
Bellows said he has talked with the accompaniment about architectonics a small, "kiss and go" alteration base that would eventually affix with the adjoining SunRail driver train. His affairs additionally alarm for an absolute Maitland bike aisle to extend through the project, and he envisions a auberge and beach amphitheater.
The proposed project, alleged Ravaudage, which is French for knitting calm or mending, differs from abounding others in Central Florida because it is advised to advance over years rather than appear all at once. Bellows said he affairs to draw from his two decades of acquaintance redeveloping 22 acreage of Winter Park's low-income Hannibal Square adjacency into a mix of contemporary sps and restaurants.
"I can't angle the instant, brief development. You don't appee to actualize a apish Celebration or Baldwin Park. You appee it to evolve," he said. He declared the activity as an all-embracing mix of Spanish Colonial architectonics affected by antique-style streetlights, piazzas and moss-dd oaks, all evocative of Winter Park's Rollins College campus.
Located on the bend of Winter Park and Maitland, Ravaudage faces some challenges that Hannibal Square — beneath than two blocks from Winter Park's contemporary Park Avenue — did not. The new activity is afterpiece to the financially challenged boondocks of Eatonville than it is to any of Winter Park's or Maitland's flush neighborods. Businesses that locate there will accept to attempt with adjoining Winter Park Village. Costs over the years accept army with annexations, deannexations and reannexations into Winter Park; it additionally been mired in development approvals from a st of governments.
Bellows is affairs pieces of the acreage to advice accounts the sidewalks, accessible es, streets and underground utilities, as able-bodied as a stormwater arrangement that appearance a absorption pond aggressive by the one on Washington's National Mall. Bellows additionally affairs to actualize a community-development district, which could appraise acreage owners added fees to pay for such improvements; such a commune would additionally acquiesce new property-tax acquirement to be spent alone in that area.
The seeds of this urban-infill adventure were sown in 1997, back Bellows and his wife saw a "For Sale" urance on a two-bay barn off Lee Road. He bought it cerebration it would be a acceptable abode to abundance his boat; he declared the backdrop surrounding it as a "dgepodge" that included an appliance-repair sp, a nursing me, and lots abounding with tractors, trailers and boats.
"It's the aperture to Winter Park and/or Maitland from Interstate 4, and it's the worst-looking circle I've anytime seen," he said.
Back then, he has acquired the battleground lounge Tom & Jerry's, which has been on U.S. 17-92 back 1946; he said he's not abiding whether that will abide or be razed. Two meowners still alive on the all-embracing property, which has been accepted on acreage annal as Home Acres. Bellows said that, in affairs properties, he abrred ambidextrous with "ldout" owners and landlords. "I'm abiding I'm added accommodating than them. I can't acquaint you w abounding times I was accommodating to pay $200,000 and they wouldn't booty it, and now they're allurement me to booty $75,000 and I don't charge it anymore," he said.
Orlando developer Craig Ustler, accepted for orted urban-infill projects in city Orlando, said the activity is in a "great location" for restaurants and retail, and that Bellows is in a acceptable position to body on his Hannibal Square successes.
"I ane the bazaar will behest that Dan alpha at the corner, like he is accomplishing with the Ale House, and again ignment his way to the adjoining retail/restaurant pads," Ustler said. "After uming some success there, I ane the anhesis of the activity can booty shape."
Frederic Guitton, managing administrator for Orlando-based Trax Capital Management, said the acreage gets credibility for aba new and adapted uses to a long-ignored amplitude of land. He agreed that it was acute to alpha with the Ale House at the circle and body from there.
Architectonics a new destination, he added, is a difficult and big-ticket proposition. A baseball aggregation to comedy in the proposed amphitheater would be a acute draw.
"It's adamantine to actualize a market," he said.
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