6100-unit Peace Crossing Project Moving Forward
Community Development District Will Bond Construction of Infrastructure
Last updated 10/7/2023 at 9:13pm
The vast Peace Crossing development long-planned for a large tract of land between US 27 and Lake Ashton is now moving forward under new ownership following the sale of the property by Winter Haven Corporation. The 1,943-acre Master Development Plan (MDP) Lake Wales Mixed Use Project was approved by the city commission in 2021.
The site has long been used as pasture and consists of a mix of uplands and wetland areas spanning the Peace Creek Drainage Canal. With 6100 residential units planned for the site, the project will ultimately shift the residential center of Lake Wales to the north while approximately doubling the current population.
An application for the creation of a Community Development District, or CDD, was approved by the Lake Wales City Commission in mid-September, allowing the developer to advance to the issuance of bonds that will fund the project's infrastructure. That will provide for the construction of the streets, water and sewer facilities, street lighting, stormwater, and water re-use lines that will eventually serve the tract and the thousands of houses, townhomes, apartments, commercial, and warehouse uses on the property.
The CDD will be responsible for construction of the infrastructure, but all will eventually be turned over to the City of Lake Wales as the long-term owner once the site is fully developed. It is the fourth such CDD within the city limits, the previous ones being Lake Ashton, along with Leoma’s Landing, a large Lennar subdivision now under construction, and the yet unbuilt Hunt Club Grove projects.
CDDs are used to shift the cost of site development to future home and property owners, who assume responsibility for the long-term debt incurred by the bonds.
New owners Westport Capital Partners of Stamford, Connecticut, have created Lake Wales Property Holdings, LLC to hold the title. Management of the ambitious project is under the direction of WCP Homebuilder Inventory Solutions, a limited partnership.
The Peace Crossing moniker may be a reflection of the history of the site, which includes the location of a former "corduroy road" constructed by US Army troops under the command of General Zachary Taylor during the Seminole Wars of nearly 200 years ago. A corduroy road refers to the placement of logs side by side to assist wagons, cannons, and troops across what was then a broad marsh.
Taylor went on to become the 12th president of the United States in 1849.