Harmony on Lake Eloise
Every one of us probably has that property in Winter Haven that you drive by and just exhale in awe of its beauty. The tree canopy entrance to the Raley property on Eloise Loop Road has been that for me for years. It had the same effect on developer Jim Lentz who purchased the property last August. While initial plans won't be presented to the City Commission until May, Jim already describes the entrance feature as "50 years in the making with 48 Grand Oaks to welcome you home."
Having a developer fall in love with the natural beauty of a property and developing his plans around it can be unusual, and that's one of the many reasons why we're thankful a developer like Jim and his team acquired this beautiful property. While plans for the property have not been finalized, which Jim is quick to point out because he strongly believes that meeting with the neighbors in the surrounding area is key, he does have a vision for the property which he believes will fit perfectly into the culture and environment in Winter Haven.
You don't have to go far to see an example of what Jim has developed. He and his wife Martha started the Harmony Institute in 1996 to research whether living in a planned community that encourages interaction between residents, domestic animals and nature could improve public health.
He teamed with researchers at UF, UCF and others to build his healthy and sustainable community "Harmony" in Osceola and will use many of the same elements in the smaller version in Winter Haven. These would include walkability, preserving the lake front as a park and open space for residents (versus building homes along the lake front), dark lighting to minimize light pollution, water conservation, dog parks (one of the most used features in Osceola) and he will renovate the Raley's 'Orleans' House, a 7,000-square-foot 1950s-era home, for a community center for special events. He plans for the property to be a mix of senior living, primary residential and vacation rentals.
Before purchasing the property in Winter Haven, Jim took his time to get to know the community. He points to a few things that drew him to the area including the:
Winter Haven Economic Development Council director Bruce Lyon states that he believes Jim wants to create a quality-of-life based development that mirrors and balances with the quality of life, lakeside lifestyle and the caliber of people he has already developed relationships with in Winter Haven. "This will be a symbiotic relationship and project for the entire community."
Read more about this project in The Ledger article printed today.
2/11/2016 11:44:27 am
Congratulations to everyone that helped make this happen. Winter Haven is the premier community in Polk County...with even more to come!
Barbara Hankins Brown
2/14/2016 09:27:33 am
I grew up in WH; graduated in 63 and would love to know more about purchasing in this community.
2/18/2016 03:28:02 am
Great idea, and a Beautiful piece of property. I drive by this property everyday and have always wondered what it look like driving down the entry road with all the beautiful trees. I would live there for sure. And would have no problem selling homes at this location. I was born and raised in Polk County and have seen lots of changes. This is a great one. Maryann
5/25/2016 04:55:50 am
Born in that vicinity, eightysix years ago, I only wanted to tell Mr. Lentz how proud I am about his project. Our first school was there on Eloise Loop Rd. with many of the teachers' living there also.
6/22/2016 04:26:13 am
Has the city approved the first series of building projects?
6/22/2016 04:52:27 am
11/8/2019 08:18:47 am
What happened to this project. I live in gains cove and haven't heard anything since attending the town court hearing in 2016?
11/8/2019 10:33:03 am
3/3/2019 10:07:43 am
What is the status of Harmony on Lake Eloise? 3-3-2019
12/20/2020 07:27:34 pm
I love WH. My wife had a successful medical practice there. Our son was born there. We built our dream home on the chain of Lakes and lived in WH for 20 years. Due to a serious illness my wife had to retire and we downsized to a condo in Clearwater Beach. Unfortunately, my wife passed last year. I would love a build my custom modest home at Harmony on Lake Eloise :-)
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