ABOVE: Site at the corner of Liberty Avenue and Grandview Street.
In real estate there are just three words: location, location, location. That’s certainly true for the proposed new residential development in the southwest section of Mount Dora. If approved, the 32 townhomes would be just a stone’s throw from Gilbert Park and a two-block walk to the city’s lighthouse and Palm Island Boardwalk. The small wooded project site straddles the train tracks that run across Liberty Avenue and is currently flanked by two large signs announcing the residential project.
The Bungalows feature row-style townhomes that are approximately 2,200 square feet and have the common living areas on the first floor and three bedrooms on the second floor. The prices start at $289,000.
The two-story development would be designed as a pocket neighborhood with the attached townhouses arranged in two parallel rows, according to the project’s website. The fronts of the units would face a common narrow green space. Pocket neighborhoods were originally designed to foster a sense of community with an increased level of interaction between neighbors. Such multi-family unit neighborhoods are a contemporary spin on Pasadena, California’s bungalow courts built in the early 1900’s which provided residents with amenities without the higher cost of single-family homes.
The developer is G3 Development (G3), whose president, Gerry Guenther, is a longtime Mount Dora resident. His son, Austin Guenther, is also Mount Dora’s newest city council member who will begin his term in November and Director of Business Development for G3. His brother, Jake, shares the same title and is also the project manager for The Bungalows. G3 is also developing Donnelly Woods, the 112-unit apartment complex and professional office space that was approved by Mount Dora City Council earlier this year.
The proposed site of The Bungalows is currently zoned R-3 which allows for high-density residential up to 12 units per acre, as well as other housing types like single family homes, duplexes and triplexes. Any new development will require Mount Dora’s Planning & Zoning Commission review after the Development Review Committee makes a recommendation. Mount Dora City Council would vote on the project only if the developer seeks a zoning change.
According to the City, no development plan applications have been filed with the City’s Planning and Development Department, and therefore no meetings have been scheduled to begin the review process. The Bungalows’ reservation contract contains the disclaimer that G3 cannot guarantee the proposed development will be constructed if it is rendered unfeasible or undesirable and that the current plans are very preliminary and likely to change in material respects.
The closest new residential project to The Bungalows’ site is the 22-acre Dora Parc development located approximately a quarter of a mile south on Clayton Street. That single-family home neighborhood has 38 home sites with floor plans that range in square footage from 1,900 to 3,900 square feet with prices starting at $295,000. Lennar is the developer.
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