Communication Builds Our Community

New Mixed-Use Development Approved Near Spook Hill

Mix of Townhomes and Single-family Homes to Occupy Hillside Site

A new 64-unit infill subdivision received approval from the Lake Wales City Commission Tuesday night after being heralded as "magnificent" by Deputy Mayor Robin Gibson for its compliance with the commission's set of eight "aspirations" for future development.

The project is planned to include a mix of townhomes and single-family residences on a site that has long stymied would-be developers. Largely land-locked, the nine-acre parcel lies between Quails Bluff apartments, and Rolling Oak Ridge, north of Hillside Drive.

City staff had requested a review of the preliminary site plan by city planning consultants Plusurbia, which resulted in the several significant changes to the plan. Among them are alleys that allow the 57 townhomes and seven single-family homes to front upon green space, a stormwater retention area that serves as a landscaped amenity, and a walking trail that winds through the project design.

Alex Moutran, representative of project developer Danpol, called the recommendations offered by Plusurbia "helpful," and said he was proud of the final project, which is very different from others being done by his company in Orange and Osceola counties. "We live in Celebration," he said, "and it even looks like Celebration."

The city's aspirations include several goals met by the project, including infill development rather than suburban sprawl around the edges of town. The sloping site will be accessed through an extension of North 7th Street. The road will wrap around a central green space fronted by townhomes, which will be served by rear alleys. Single-family homes will occupy the western edge of the property on a ridge facing toward North Lake Wailes.

Although no pedestrian connection is shown from the site toward Lake Wales High School and the Lake Wales Y building, property appraisal maps reflect a narrow, unopened right-of-way leading to the north which could provide a future trail connection. Walkable, interconnected neighborhoods are among the eight city aspirations.

Moutran said that his family-owned company has become very interested in Lake Wales since first visiting the area nearly two years ago. The company also owns property on the north side of Lake Wales and expects to bring forward a proposal on that site as well.

"We are also interested in commercial investment here," Moutran said, pointing out that they had made an offer to purchase the Arcade building on Stuart Avenue. "We may also offer some warehouse space," he added.


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