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Pulte Homes, already a major player in the development of the Wellness Way Area, is activating another 840 acres it has under contract between Schofield Road and the future Lake-Orange Connector.

The nation’s third-largest homebuilder submitted a request to rezone the acreage from Agricultural to Neighborhood District, one of two residential zoning categories permitted under the Wellness Way Area Plan. It’s sandwiched between the U.S. 27 District, which allows for high-density residential and nonresidential uses, and the employment center east of Cook Road. It also straddles the future Lake-Orange Connector toll road, which will have a full interchange at County Road 455 before merging with S.R. 429.

The developer expects nearly 60 acres fall within the future right-of-way for the toll road that will provide easy access from Clermont to Horizon West, Winter Garden and the Disney theme parks.

Pulte plans to construct up to 1,601 dwelling units, including single-family homes and townhomes, according to the plan from VHB. About 500 units would be in an age-restricted community. That total number of units includes a 20% density bonus, which can be granted in the Wellness Way plan area for contributions to the infrastructure in the region. The project density is 3.6 units per acre. The land is southeast of Trout Lake and surrounds the 172-acre Lake Adain.

The master plan designates 108 acres in light green as Wellness Space, which includes parks, trails and public gathering spaces.

Plans also call for 352,836 square feet for a mix of non-residential construction. That includes a 28.5-acre commercial center fronting on Schofield Road, just south of the future county park. It also designates 30% of the land as open space, including 108 acres defined as Wellness Space.

Max Perlman, Pulte Vice President of Land Acquisition, told GrowthSpotter the goal is to break ground by the first quarter of 2024. Pulte is under contract to buy the property from GT Homes, which purchased it without zoning or entitlements in 2021 for $51 million.

“The project is in a great location within a high growth corridor of Orlando, with great proximity to major highways – S.R. 429 and U.S. 27 – and other areas of high growth, including Four Corners to the South, Clermont to the North and the Hamlin Town Center to the east,” Perlman said. “Additionally, the scale of the property and its water features create a unique opportunity to provide a lifestyle-oriented lakefront community in the heart of Orlando.”

This is Pulte’s second major PUD in the Wellness Way area. Last year, the homebuilder received PUD zoning approvalfrom the City of Clermont for a 948-home community on another 304 acres it has under contract along the future Wellness Way Boulevard.

Wellness Way was established in 2016 to develop a comprehensive economic development and branding strategy for an area of Lake County considered ripe for development. The 15,000 acres included in Wellness Way Area Plan has defined goals, objectives and policies included in the Lake County Comprehensive Plan.

Wellness Way is a mixed-use area with flexible land uses that allow for employment, residential, institutional, agricultural and wellness/green space. It is considered an area with significant economic development potential. The master plan calls for interconnected roadways, trails and other transportation measures that will make it a pedestrian-friendly hub and cut down on the number of daily vehicle trips outside of the area.

The zoning narrative for this project states that it will be located in the Neighborhood FLUC, the largest district in the Wellness Way planning area, which requires flexibility in design to accommodate neighborhood and housing types for various market segments.

“Our belief is that this project will be attractive to a wide range of buyers from entry-level through luxury buyers as well as retirees,” Perlman said. “The location of the project and its unique natural features will make this community stand out from the rest, offering something for everyone with a mix of townhomes and single-family homes with a wide range of sizes and price points.”

As for the age-restricted section, it will be “substantially similar to the actively selling Del Webb Oasis community on the south side of Hartzog Road in Orange County, just a few miles east,” Perlman said.

Its waterfront lots and water view homes, will make it stand out, he said, in addition to promoting the active outdoor lifestyle with activities including kayaking, canoeing and paddleboarding.

In accordance with the Wellness Way plan, the Schofield PUD will have an interconnected transportation network that will support walking as a part of daily travel, with sidewalks connecting residential neighborhoods. The network would connect neighborhoods to employment districts, retail areas, parks and schools.

Pulte is already selling homes in the area within the Ridgeview community and is now pre-selling homes in Windsor Cay Resort, on the former Rubin Groves property on U.S. 27. The 248-acre site is just north of Cagan Crossings and has PUD zoning with entitlements for up to 1,500 short-term rental residential units. The homebuilder is also actively selling in Serenoa Lakes and in Cagan Crossings, under its Centex brand.

Pulte is also developing an 846-home Del Webb community in Hills of Minneola, which is slated to open its first phase later this year.


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