Construction permit sought for 166-unit senior living facility in Winter Garden – GrowthSpotter

An Indianapolis-based developer of senior housing is preparing to bring its product to the Orlando market.

Leo Brown Group is seeking a permit from the St. Johns Water Management District before it can start construction on a 166-unit age-restricted community in Winter Garden called Stoneybrook Place.

The city commission, in August of 2020, approved requests to annex the property from Orange County into the city limits and rezone it to medium density residential. But site plans are still awaiting the final go-ahead from the city.

Earlier plans submitted to the city show three-story independent living building with 101 units, a two-story assisted living building with 65 units as well as ten detached 2-car garage buildings.

Recreation areas, a garden, pool, a parking lot with 157 spaces and stormwater infrastructure will also be included, according to site plans drafted by Orlando-based civil engineering firm Burkett Engineering.

Tampa-based architecture and interior design firm Chancey Design Partners is also part of the project team.

The project is slated for two parcels totaling 10 acres at the intersection of Reeves Road and Stoneybrook West Parkway, just northwest of where the road passes beneath State Road 429.

Surrounded on three sides by a cluster of residential subdivisions, the site sits just east of the Winter Garden Village, an open-air shopping center with more than 80 restaurants and retailers, including a Best Buy, a Lowes, and Super Target.

Windermere-based land development and construction firm The Huber Group has long controlled the property where the senior living community will go. The company bought it in 2004 for $600,000, according to Orange County property records.

The property owner nor the developer could be reached for comment Thursday.

The land was previously zoned for A-1 (Agricultural) and R-CE-2 (Rural Residential) in Orange County. Before the senior living concept emerged, there were earlier attempts by developers to build storage units on the land. But those were abandoned before applications were filed due to backlash from surrounding homeowners, Steve Pash, the city’s community development director told GrowthSpotter.

“Every time, there was an outpouring of opposition and nobody wanted anything to do with it,” he said.

The senior living plan encountered opposition as well.

While the city commission ultimately granted the developer’s request to rezone the property to a Planned Unit Development with a future land use designation of Medium Density Residential, city staff added stipulations to the PUD in an effort to assuage concerns from neighboring residents.

New landscaping is to be added on a common area tract in the Foxcrest subdivision, directly south of the Dallington Terrace cul-de-sac, to further screen the proposed development.

All construction activities will be required to stop at sunset, and the heavily wooded conservation area to the north of the property is to be put into a permanent conservation easement.

City officials felt that independent-living units would be less impactful on the surrounding roadways.

Independent living units “typically generate fewer vehicular trips than traditional apartment units,” a staff report reads. “So only permitting age-restricted IL units in the property’s PUD zoning regulations will ensure the proposed development remains a reasonable and low-intensity use of the land. It also ensures the project would not generate a significant increase in traffic volume beyond that typically generated by single-family residential uses, and represents a use that is compatible with the area.”

Founded in 2006, Leo Brown Group is a privately-held full-service healthcare real estate development and solutions company, primarily focused on the senior living, post-acute care, and behavioral health industries, according to its website.

Nationwide, the company has developed $1 billion worth of healthcare real estate properties, totaling 2,500 units and four million square feet.

The portfolio on the company’s website includes 22 projects across various parts of the Midwest.

Its Orlando project is among several in the pipeline across Central Florida focused on housing the older population.

MedFlorida Medical Centers has filed plans for a mixed-use medical office complex at 811 N. Central Ave. in Kissimmee, across from the HCA-affiliated hospital. Physician Mazin Shikara, president and CEO of Medical Consultants of Florida, purchased the 2.85-acre assemblage in 2021 through an affiliate for $2.8 million and submitted the plans in December.

The project consists of two 5-story buildings. The first would have 9,950 square feet of medical offices on the ground floor with 54 senior living units on the four upper floors. The second L-shaped building would have 12,450 square feet of office and retail space, along with 56 senior living units on the upper floors.

In January, Blue Castle Development LLC, a company led by medical doctor and real estate developer, Neil Coskun, requested a pre-app meeting with Orange County’s Development Review Committee to discuss the feasibility of building senior housing behind the Palms Plaza shopping center on Lake Underhill Road, across from AdventHealth East Orlando.

The property owner has assigned Sam Sebaali, president and CEO of Florida Engineering Group Inc. to oversee the proposed project. According to recently submitted application materials, the applicant wants to turn some underutilized land by the commercial center into an affordable senior living development.

Plans call for a 4-story, 84-unit senior living facility with a large courtyard at its center. It’s still pending approval by the county.

Meanwhile, Sun Terra Communities is in the midst of seeking approval from Osceola County to build Florida’s second largest retirement community with a dozen golf courses, heliports and nearly 34,000 homes in 15 distinct neighborhoods.

The project is planned for a 14,212-acre ranch in Yeehaw Junction that sprawls 22 square miles on State Road 60 in south Osceola County, across the street from the DeLuca Preserve.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at (407)-800-1161 or, or tweet me at @DustinWyattGS. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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