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ORLANDO-Baldwin Park Development Co. plans to break ground by Thanksgiving or sooner on the construction of new roads and sewers for the planned $1 billion, 1,100-acre mixed-use Baldwin Park community that is expected to attract 8,000 new residents at the former Orlando Naval Training Center site, three miles east of Downtown.

It is the biggest in-city development in 25 years.

The city of Orlando has given the property greenfield status which means the developer has successfully met the four conditions necessary for a construction start.

Those conditions entailed the demolition of 250 former dormitories and administrative quarters; the management and disposition of the asbestos and lead-based paint in the demolition areas; remediation and removal of the arsenic from the soil on the former golf course; and recycling the demolished buildings by using the crushed concrete aggregate for a filtration trench.

The greenfield status program took 16 months and included the removal of 4.5 million sf of buildings, 25 miles of roads and walls, and 200 miles of underground utilities.

“The land is (now) ready to be lived on,” David G. Pace, the development’s managing director says in a prepared statement. The developer is starting to sell land parcels to residential and commercial builders.

Baldwin Park will comprise a 350,000-sf retail town center; 1.5 million sf of office; 3,000 single and multifamily residential units; two schools; and three parks totaling 200 acres. An estimated 8,000 residents occupying 5,000 jobs will live at Baldwin Park at buildout in 10 years, the developer projects.

Construction on the first residential phase and the Village Center is scheduled to begin in spring 2002. Baldwin Park’s architectural motif will be reminiscent of pre-1940s Central Florida, emphasizing pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods.

Baldwin Park Development Co. is the new name for Orlando NTC Partners Inc. Pritzker Realty Group of Chicago, headed by Penny Pritzker, is the managing partner. The development group bought the 1,100 acres from the city of Orlando in 1999 for $5.8 million or $5,273 per acre (12 cents per sf).

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