A significant redevelopment project is underway outside of Orlando that aims to breathe new life into a downtown Eustis site formerly occupied by Florida Hospital Waterman. Looney Ricks Kiss Architects recently completed designs for two mixed-use buildings totaling 45,000 sq. ft. that will bring commercial space and urban residences to the once vacant hospital property. The buildings are being developed by the Lake Community Foundation which received the gift of property from Florida Hospital Waterman in 2005.
Construction of the building, which will include retail and office space on the first floor and private residences above, will begin in April, and is expected to be complete by the end of the year. It is one of the first major renovation projects in recent years to occur in downtown Eustis, a small central Florida town with a population of nearly 16,000. The town is located on the eastern shore of Lake Eustis, a 7,000-acre lake that provides spectacular natural vistas.
Florida Hospital Waterman donated the downtown Eustis property in 2005 to the Lake Community Foundation, the developer. The foundation tapped a redevelopment team that included Looney Ricks Kiss as the project architect. The firm has created many mixed-use designs around the country, including The Mercado in downtown Rosemary Beach, a 45,000-sq.-ft. building featuring retail and office space on the first two floors and residential condominiums on the third and fourth floors. Baldwin Park, another Looney Ricks Kiss-designed project near Orlando, will feature 350,000 sq. ft. of retail space, 220,000 sq. ft. feet of office space and 1,100 residences in a village center design. "We were able to draw on our firm's vast experience and resources in this area of mixed-use development to complete extraordinary plans for downtown Eustis," says Mark Jones, principal of Looney Ricks Kiss.