Mixed use development in downtown Winter Park gets initial OK
Winter Park continues to grow and expand, most recently with the preliminary approval for a new mixed use development along US Highway 40 that will come with increased connectivity downtown.
On Tuesday, Winter Park Town Council approved a preliminary plat for Reunion Station, a development consisting of eight residential units and 5,000 square feet of commercial space, in between the town’s post office and the Kings Crossing shopping center.
Reunion Station will have four townhomes and four condos, each with two bedrooms, as well as retail, restaurant and office space. Owner Pete Gonzalez told council he doesn’t have any tenants yet for the commercial space but has gotten several inquiries.
“We would be moving on the entire site at the same time … slightly staggered possibly, but not phased,” Gonzalez said.
Most of the discussion focused on the amount of parking at the development, which currently provides 40 spaces, including seven on the street, but does not meet the town’s required number of 47 spaces for the development.
Despite the concerns, council decided to grant a parking variance because the town had previously set a precedent by allowing parking variances for the Arrow development and Volario’s because they were mixed use developments.
“This is a fitting use for this (development),” said town planner Mara Owen. “This is why the ordinance was created.”
The developer also plans to construct two sidewalks, one along Lions Gate Drive running the length of the property and another connecting Lions Gate Drive to US 40, which was specifically identified as a community need in the town’s multi-modal transportation and mobility plan.
Council members were enthusiastic about the sidewalks improving connectivity and walkability downtown.
In 2016, developers tried to build on the property where Reunion Station will go up, but the final plat for that project was never recorded, so the new development will go through the entire planning process.
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