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WINTER HAVEN – On Nov. 4, the Winter Haven Planning Commission approved and recommended the city commission pass a new development at the corner of Cypress Gardens Boulevard and U.S. Highway 27 in the southeast area of town.

The property, which is currently vacant, could have a maximum of 215 residential apartment units and 125 hotel rooms if built out to capacity.

The developer of the property is currently unknown and no information is known about which hotel chain — or which retail outlets — will be expanding into Winter Haven in the coming months.

In city documents, the developer is listed as CG/27 Opportunity Fund, Ltd.

As planned, the development requires a zoning change. A first reading of that change will be Nov. 25 at city hall. The Winter Haven City Commission will do a second reading and hold a public hearing Dec. 9, before taking a final vote.

Winter Haven Planning Commission Chair Rick Hemenway said he thinks the project will benefit Winter Haven because there is an affordable housing shortage and this development would help meet some of that demand.

Many of the schools currently surrounding the property are already at maximum enrollment, however. As such, the developer will likely be paying an impact fee to help build more schools to serve the students who will be living in the apartments.

As planned, no additional stop lights will set up to serve the property.

Peace Creek, which connects the Chain of Lakes with the Peace River, is located immediately behind the property.

The Planning Commission approved this development with some special conditions, in part, which would include forcing the developer to stay away from the creek and nearby wetlands, not disturbing more than 5 percent of conserved land with any boardwalks or trails that may be built.

Sidewalks may connect the property with nearby Carlton Arms Apartments. Trees will be required along road frontages.

The planned hotel may not be higher than five stories and the apartment complex will not be higher than three stories. Approved in the plan are offices, personal services, retail, restaurants, fuel sales and indoor recreation.

Contact Charles A. Baker III at cbaker@d-r.media.
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