MetroWest (Orlando) facts for kids

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MetroWest
Master-planned community
MetroWest, Orlando sign.jpg
Country United States
State Florida
County Orange
City Orlando
MetroWest Development 1982
Founded by Aaron Dowd
Area
 • Total Expression error: Unexpected < operator. sq mi (Expression error: Unexpected < operator. km2)
Elevation 198 ft (60 m)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Zip code 32835
Area code(s) 407 and 321
Website MetroWest Master Association

MetroWest is a master-planned community in Orlando, in the U.S. state of Florida. The 1,805-acre (730 ha) mixed-use community is located southwest of downtown Orlando, with the main entrance situated on MetroWest Boulevard, off of Kirkman Road.

The neighborhood was developed in the 1980s by Debra, Inc., an Orlando-based developer, as a business, commercial and residential community; a place where people can live, work and play. It has over 9,600 residential homes as of 2013 (see Residential neighborhoods below). Housing options in the diverse community of Metrowest include a range of single-family homes with several apartment, townhome and condominium complexes spread over the gently rolling landscape.

MetroWest is managed by the MetroWest Master Association (MWMA), a corporation formed by Debra, Inc., which has the overall responsibility and right in maintaining the standards of all common areas located within the community. Past and future developments, projects and changes in MetroWest are first approved by the association's Design Review Board (DRB) following guidelines for quality and architecture that is harmonious to the present structures and topography. The beautiful award-winning landscaping and clean environment keep MetroWest at the top of the City of Orlando’s most beautiful places to live in.

Geography

MetroWest Village fountain
The Horse Fountain at MetroWest Village

The 1,805-acre (730 ha) mixed-use community is located in western Orlando. It is bounded by Kirkman Road to the east; by Turkey Lake to the southeast; by Pembrooke Pines development to the south; by the Florida's Turnpike to the southwest; Apopka-Vineland Road on its western tip; and to the north by Steer Lake Road, Edgewood Children's Ranch, Lake Hiawassee and Orlo Vista, Florida.

Bisecting the middle of the development, winding from north to south, is South Hiawassee Road, which also serves as the main entrance coming from the north and only entrance from the south. The other north entry point is through Lake Vilma Drive, off of Steer Lake Road. There are several entrances on the eastern side of the community, from north to south: Westgate Dr; Raleigh St; the north and south Valencia Community College Dr; north and south Metropolis Way; MetroWest Blvd, the main entrance of the community; and Arnold Palmer Drive. The main entrance of MetroWest is only 2.5 miles (4.0 km) north of Universal Studios Orlando.

History

Prior to its development, the area south of Hiawassee Road, a county road, was endless rows of orange groves divided between the city limits of Orlando and Orange County. Between 1980 and 1981, Aaron Dowd, vice-president of Debra, Inc. bought the MetroWest Development acreage for $22 million in cash from 23 landowners, in behalf of unidentified investors. Debra Inc. is a Florida company created for the project and was owned by Debra N.V. of the Netherlands Antilles. The real owners of the corporation were never revealed, but Orange County Circuit Court documents involving a real estate commission dispute filed against the company several years ago indicate that a Saudi Arabian banking family are behind the project.

S. Hiawassee Road
Hiawassee Rd was widened during the construction of MetroWest

The $500 million-plus development gained approval from the City Council on November 15, 1982 and the developer's agreement was accepted by the city on February 28, 1983. Initial work on the development involves the construction of the necessary infrastructures of a community like stormwater drainage system, 2.5 million gallons capacity of sewage system, grading of the undeveloped land and road construction. Hiawassee Road was realigned, extended and widened into a four-lane roadway. Raleigh Street was extended to connect to Hiawassee. Large black tile entrance signs were built north and south on Hiawassee, with a more elaborate entrance with fountains at the main entrance on MetroWest Boulevard off Kirkman Road. Sections within Orange County were annexed to the city limits of Orlando to avail the municipal services of Orlando like police and fire protection, sewage collection and treatment, trash and garbage removal, street and storm drainage maintenance, and utilities.

MetroWest Village
MetroWest Village, the first shopping center established in the community

After five years and an estimated $50 million worth of preparation, tracts of land were sold to developers and builders for residential and business projects. The Metrowest Master Association (MWMA) was established by Debra, Inc. on February 17, 1986 and thereafter, all construction and design plans are first examined by the Design Review Board (DRB) of the MWMA following strict guidelines before approval. The original master plan for the community included up to 4,500 residential units; 6 million square feet of office space, 2.5 million square feet of retail, restaurant, and industrial space; and 3,700 hotel rooms. Like other master-planned communities, the development was designed as a place where people can live, work and play. The 350-acre (140 ha) urban center, where dense development was planned, lies south of MetroWest Blvd and extends to Turkey Lake. The development has an about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) of frontage on the lake.

Work on the Metrowest Golf clubhouse was started in 1986. It was opened and dedicated the following year. The course was first managed by the Arnold Palmer Golf Management. Residential development near the community's 18-hole golf course was started in 1987. By 1989, about 700 single-family homes or villas have been built or planned. Another 1,300 apartment units had been built or were on the drawing boards. Development was also started on the community's most exclusive residential area, Palma Vista, a planned 200-lot subdivision that surrounds the 13th and 14th holes of the golf course on the highest land in the community. The crest of the property, at an elevation of 198 feet (60 m) above sea level, is one of the highest points in Orange County and offers views of downtown Orlando's skyline 5 miles (8.0 km) to the east. The community's first shopping center, MetroWest Village at the corner of S. Hiawassee Rd and Westpointe Blvd, was opened in the fall of 1990 completely leased.

Residential neighborhoods

MetroWest road sign
A directory-road sign on Hiawassee Rd showing the neighborhoods in MetroWest.

Homes

There are nine subdivisions with single-family homes and one townhome complex in Metrowest with a total 1,259 residential units.

No. Subdivision Address No. of
single-family homes
1 Fairway Cove S. Hiawassee Rd. 140
2 Hawksnest S. Hiawassee Rd. 91
3 MetroWest Unit 5:
a) Abingdon Hill
b) Bardmoor
c) St. Andrews
Westpointe Blvd. 367 Total
4 Palma Vista Westpointe Blvd. 189
5 Stonebridge Lakes Shallot Dr. 103
6 Villa Capri
(townhomes)
Arnold Palmer Dr. 141
7 Vista Royale Vista Royale Blvd. 70
8 Westchester Piccadilly Lane 160
9 Ridgemoore Bridgestone Dr

Condominiums

Residences at the Veranda
The Residences at Veranda, a 142-unit condominium in MetroWest
Tradewinds Orlando
The Tradewinds on S. Hiawassee Rd

Fourteen condominium complexes with over 4,851 residential units. Some of these dwellings were previous apartments converted into condominiums during the housing boom.

No. Condominium complex Location No. of units
1 Azur at MetroWest
(formerly Colonial Grand at MetroWest
and Centergate MetroWest)
Raleigh St. 311
2 Bermuda Dunes Westpointe Blvd. 336
3 Central Park at MetroWest
(formerly Victoria Point Apts.)
Westgate Dr. 400
4 Fountains at MetroWest
(formerly Toscana at MetroWest)
Westgate Dr. 238
5 The Hamptons at MetroWest Times Square Ave. 766
6 Madison at MetroWest
(formerly Worthing at MetroWest)
Robert Trent Jones Dr. 364
7 Promenade Buford St. 124
8 Residences at Veranda Grande Ave. 142
9 Serenata
(formerly Douglas Grand at MetroWest)
MetroWest Blvd. 398
10 Stonebridge Commons:
a) Carriage Homes
b) Mandalay
c) Ventura
d) Vistas
Ducados Pointe 622 Total
a) 172
b) 104
c) 200
d) 146
11 Stonebridge Lakes Shallot Dr. 208
12 Stonebridge Place
a)Horizons
b) Vistas
Tolstoy Lane 310 Total
a) 180
b)130
13 Stonebridge Reserve Robert Trent Jones Dr. 296
14 Tradewinds
(formerly Lakefront at MetroWest)
S. Hiawassee Rd. 544

Apartments

La Palazza MetroWest Orlando
The La Palazza apartment complex located along Turkey Lake

Ten complexes with a total of 3,557 units make up the apartments in MetroWest.

No. Apartment complex Location No. of units
1 Amara at MetroWest
(formerly Vinings Club at MetroWest)
Raleigh St. 456
2 The Estates at Park Avenue Biltmore Park Dr. 432
3 Harbortown
(aka Gates of Harbortown)
Lake Debra Dr. 428
4 La Palazza
(formerly Alexan Club at MetroWest)
Lake Debra Dr. 510
5 Landmark at Siena Springs
(formerly Lexington Park)
Westgate Dr. 252
6 Marina Landing Westgate Dr. 260
7 Indigo West
(formerly Sabal Palm at MetroWest)
Raleigh St. 411
8 The Summit MetroWest Blvd. 280
9 Vista Verde S. Hiawassee Rd. 200
10 The Element at MetroWest
(formerly Bristol Place at MetroWest)
Lake Debra Dr. 328

Others

  • Golf Ridge is a 59-unit condominium complex off of S. Hiawassee Rd. near Raleigh St. that is completely surrounded, but not part of MetroWest.

Awards

  • Winner of the Orlando's City Beautiful Award for District 6 in 2012 for its well-kept, aesthetically pleasing grounds, and litter-free environment.
  • Metrowest is the statewide winner for the 2013 Safety and Security Award from the Florida Communities of Excellence awarded on April 5, 2013.

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