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ORLANDO-A measly $3 million handout wasn’t going to delay an estimated $1 billion mixed-use development that Robert “Bobby” Ginn, president, Ginn Development Co., Palm Coast, Fl, is planning south of Orlando International Airport.

Ginn promised the $3 million to the Orange County School Board and Orange County commissioners promptly approved the developer’s 1,700-acre project straddling State Road 417 near Boggy Creek and Wetherbee Roads and the Orange County-Osceola County boundary.

Ginn is making an extra contribution of $1,500 per house or apartment to help build a new 600-student elementary school at his development.

Ginn and two other developers will also be paying the district a total $8.5 million in advance impact fees which will give the board about $12.5 million, the cost of a new elementary school today.

The south airport corridor is the hottest commercial/residential axis in Central Florida, largely through the 1993 opening of State Road 417, the expressway that rings the south end of the airport.

Ginn’s project is planned for 2,060 homes, five million sf of commercial, 3,000 hotel rooms and an undetermined amount of retail. The venture is a 20-year buildout.

Eight other mixed-use ventures by individual developers are also planned along a 10-mile span of State Road 417, according to Orange County planning department records. But Ginn’s projects always get the headlines because the developer has at least a half dozen jobs going at the same time.

For example, in neighboring Lake County, Ginn is developing Pine Lakes, a planned 500-home community with an 18-hole, championship-caliber golf course and an undetermined amount of retail.

In southwest Osceola County, Ginn is constructing Reunion Resort, a planned 2,500-acre leisure community with 5,000 timeshare units, 3,000 hotel rooms, 550,000 sf of commercial and three golf courses.

Ginn’s satellite Orlando office is in 16,380 sf at 215 Celebration Place, Osceola County. The building is one of three class A office assets totaling 440,000 sf that Walt Disney World Co. sold this week to Inland Real Estate Trust Inc. of Oak Brook, IL for an estimated $88 million or about $200 per sf.

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