Two public hearings have been scheduled to discuss a proposed 80,981-square-foot, 3-story apartment building that would house Rollins College faculty and staff. Notices alerting residents of the hearings, happening at the Jan. 9 Planning & Zoning Board meeting and the Jan. 24 City Commission Meeting, were mailed last week. The flyers specify properties at 273 W. New England Ave., 262, 308 and 316 W. Welbourne Ave., and 210 S. Virginia Ave. for construction.
According to the notice, the college will request:
- Amendments to the city’s Comprehensive Plan to supersede existing policies
- Comprehensive Plan future land use map and zoning map amendments
- Conditional use approval for the project
“Rollins recognized the challenge of limited housing inventory near the college and affordability of that inventory a long time ago,” said Sam Stark, Rollins College vice president of communications and external relations. “We believe this is an important issue for so many reasons and have tried to help where it’s possible.”
Rollins’ current faculty housing consists of 11 two-story townhomes on Orchid and Mead avenues, located a mile from the campus and near the entrance to Winter Park’s Mead Botanical Garden. The units each offer three bedrooms and 2.5 baths, flexible lease terms of up to three years, and prices that are competitive with Winter Park’s other rental communities.
The proposed apartment building will offer 48 residential units for Rollins staff and faculty. Stark says there are no classroom or administrative office spaces planned for the building, and the vacant properties slated for the development have been owned by the college for several years. Nearby buildings are between two and three stories tall.
According to the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce Prosperity Scorecard, approximately 46% of people working in area code 32789 actually live in the same area. Stark noted the new apartments will help reduce the number of commuters while allowing the school “the opportunity to recruit and retain top faculty and staff in a competitive environment.”
No further project details are currently available but more information will be listed in the Jan. 9 Planning & Zoning Board meeting agenda, available via the City of Winter Park website on Dec. 29. For meeting updates, please access cityofwinterpark.org/meetings.