“Hamlin is one of the hottest areas. ‘It’s on fire over there. Everything is new: homes, schools, shopping, restaurants, and a hospital. It’s a great location with easy access to theme parks and downtown Winter Garden.”
NEIGHBORHOODS ON THE RISE
To build new communities you need land, and the logical place to go is either southwest or southeast of Orlando, where there is still land available for development. One community growing aggressively is Horizon West, located southwest of Winter Garden, Windermere and Dr. Phillips.
Simon Simaan, broker, Realtor and owner of The Simon Simaan Group, grew up in Orlando and has watched the development firsthand. “Back then there were mostly forests, cattle and orange groves; all that is being developed now. The price of land has increased. You can’t redevelop an area that has already been developed, so you have to go out and prospect—goldmine like back in the days of the Old West,” he says.
Horizon West, considered one of the largest master-planned developments in Central Florida’s history, was on the drawing board beginning in 1995. The project, inspired by the New Urbanism movement, encompasses a town center and five villages, each with several neighborhoods offering a mix of housing styles, schools, parks and recreation. In January 1997, Horizon West received the green light from Orange County to begin work on its first village, Lakeside, which was approved for 8,915 residential units—and the building hasn’t stopped.
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Patricia Letakis | Orlando Magazine