Baldwin Park / NTC Main Base – A
From World War II until the 1990’s,
the area now known as Baldwin Park was used for military purposes.
When the Orlando Army Air Station was established in 1942, it
actually included an area much larger than what we now know as the
Naval Training Center (NTC) Main Base.
The Air Station also included areas now developed as the
Audubon Park neighborhood, the Fashion Square Mall, Koger Office
Center and other surrounding properties, in addition to what is now
Orlando Executive Airport.
World War II the Orlando Executive Airport property was returned to
the City of Orlando, and the Audubon Park, Fashion Square Mall,
Koger Center and other properties were sold as the Air Station
gradually reduced its operations.
In the early 1960’s the Air Station closed its doors, and
the remaining property was turned over to the Navy for use as the
country’s third Naval Training Center.
Over the next three decades NTC Orlando served as the
training site of over 650,000 Navy Recruits.
The Main Base property was home to three major commands:
the Recruit Training Command, the Service School Command, and
the Nuclear Power School.
NTC Closure and Reuse
The Federal Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC)
closure in July 1993. Upon notice of the final
decision of the BRAC, the City of Orlando initiated the development
of a Base Reuse Plan to guide transition of base property and facilities
to other uses in support of local goals for economic and community
The base closure and redevelopment
planning process was a
community based, proactive planning approach that established
direction for redevelopment and reuse of the NTC facilities and
properties. The effort consisted of four stages: 1) Base Reuse Plan;
2) Business and Development Plan; 3) Urban Design Vision Plan, and; 4) Selection of a development team.
Base Reuse Plan
Following the Pentagon's decision to close the NTC, Mayor Glenda
Hood appointed a Base Reuse Commission, made up of Central Florida
business and government leaders, to identify alternative uses for
the base. With financial assistance from the U.S. Department of
Defense Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) the City established and
staffed an NTC Base Reuse Office, and hired a consulting team headed
by BRW, Inc., to assist in preparing a Base Reuse Plan.
It took approximately eleven months to develop the Base Reuse Plan.
A thorough inventory of the physical, environmental, and economic
conditions of the NTC property and the surrounding neighborhoods had
to be performed. This assessment lead to the identification of the
site's opportunities and constraints and the development of goals
and objectives for the Base's reuse. Several land use plans that
would achieve the established goals and objectives were evaluated.
The approved Base Reuse Plan was used by the Department of the Navy
as the basis in preparing their Environmental Impact Statement.
Throughout the entire process, public comments were solicited and
incorporated into the plan. Local residents were kept informed
through public forums, newsletters, committee meetings, newspaper
articles and television news broadcasts.
Business and Development Plan
The Business Plan, prepared by Real Estate Research Consultants,
included appraisals of all the base properties, estimates for new
and enhanced infrastructure requirements, and a cost and character
analysis for new roadways. Cost estimates for the demolition of
unusable buildings and infrastructure, phasing plans and financial
pro-formas, and an assessment of the impact the project would have
on City service costs and revenues where also included in the plan.
These estimates of cost and revenues were incorporated into the
City's estimate of the "fair market value" of the NTC. The
"bottom line" value became the basis for negotiations
regarding the transfer cost from the Navy to the City.
Urban Design Vision Plan (NTC Main Base)
The design phase of the redevelopment process began in early 1997,
approximately two years after the Base Reuse Plan had been approved.
A consultant team headed by A. Nelessen Associates was hired by the
City to prepare a detailed Urban Design and Transportation Plan
using the approved Base Reuse Plan as a guide. A second consultant
team led by Post Buckley, Schuh & Jernigan (PBS&J) and WBQ
Inc. was hired to design a supportive Infrastructure Plan.
Citizen input was a valued component of the design process. A Visual
Preference Survey was conducted to determine the type of development
area residents desired for the NTC property. At three different
meetings, citizens viewed and rated 240 slides depicting
single-family homes, multifamily homes, pedestrian areas, transit
possibilities, commercial land uses, offices, streets, parking,
signs and civic buildings. The Survey results were presented at an
all-day workshop where residents rolled up their sleeves, grabbed
markers and put their ideas down on paper to convey how they would like to see the area
developed. At the end of the day, several themes stood
out - linking the site with surrounding neighborhoods, providing
public access to lakes, using open space to form a network of green
throughout the project, creating a vibrant main street, and
dispersing automobile traffic through a gridded street network.
Using these themes, the Nelessen team created an Urban Design Plan
implementing these ideas through the use of Traditional Neighborhood
Design Principles (TND).
The Vision Plan presented a complete development concept. The
for balanced long-term growth with approximately 3,000 residential
units and over 2,700,000 square feet of office/commercial use at
buildout. A pedestrian oriented village center, that included
retail, office, and high density residential uses, surrounded by
high density residential areas was the focus. The two lakes on the
site were cited as public space and an open space corridor linked
the lakes with parks and other open space areas, thereby connecting
it with wildlife corridors in the surrounding areas.
This process not only produced a clear concept of community
expectations, but also resulted in a set of design guidelines that
could be implemented. The stage was set, the community set the bar
and challenged the development sector to come forward and improve on
Selecting a Development Team
for the NTC Main Base
With a clear vision in mind, the City now sought a development team
that would understand and implement that vision. Four nationally
recognized development teams were short-listed for simultaneous
negotiations. The four teams included such national developers as
Post Properties, Pulte Home Corp., Haile Plantation Group, The
Arvida Company, The Rouse Company, WCI Communities and Cali Realty
During this period, City staff actually became a part of each of the
four development teams; allowing City staff to work with each team,
improving the quality of the submissions and explaining the
communities objectives. This kept the competition keen and resulted
in four very strong redevelopment proposals; any of which, when
developed, would achieve the community's redevelopment objectives.
After six weeks of studying the competing development proposals,
listening to their presentations and visiting other projects the
developers have undertaken, the City chose Orlando NTC Partners (aka
Baldwin Park Development Co.) in
May 1998. Consistency with the Vision Plan, the experience of the
development team and the integration with the natural environment
were major factors in selecting this team. The team included Mesirow
Stein Real Estate, Inc., Carter & Associates, Atlantic Gulf
Communities Corp., David Weekley Homes and Morrison Homes as
developers supported by a design team consisting of Skidmore, Owings
& Merrill LLP, Cooper Carry and Miller-Sellen & Associates,
development team in place, the City of Orlando intensified efforts
to acquire the Naval Training Center property from the Navy.
27, 1999, six years after the Navy announced the closure, the City
Council voted unanimously to purchase the property from the Navy and
moments later voted to sell the property to Orlando NTC Partners.
Under the terms of the agreement, the City would pay the Navy
$1.2 million plus 75 percent of the price paid by Orlando NTC
Partners. In addition,
the developer was required to make a one-time payment of $3.5
million to a local Homeless Provider Trust Fund.
the property to one developer, the City could eliminate blighted
conditions and create a tremendous amount of taxable value.
In addition, the redevelopment would create 200 acres of
parks and open 250 acres of lakes to the public.
Another 90 acres would remain as out-parcels for various
federal operations, leaving only about 550 acres of developable
property for new streets, parcels and lots.
The sale to
one developer also reflected the complexities of redeveloping a
former military base. Before
any new construction could begin, the developer first had to clear
the site of 256 buildings (4.5 million square feet), excavate 25
miles of substandard roads and 200 miles of underground utilities,
and remove contaminated soil discovered on the greens of the base
golf course – at a cost of about $40 million.
and masonry materials from demolished buildings were crushed on-site
and recycled in a massive underground stormwater filtration system
and as road base for new public streets.
Reusing 750,000 tons of recycled concrete on-site eliminated
the 40,000 truck trips it would have taken to transport waste
materials to a landfill.
A pair of
federal lawsuits filed by a local resident further complicated
redevelopment of the NTC property.
The resident claimed that the Navy did not follow the proper
procedures when it offered the land and buildings to other federal
agencies. The first
lawsuit died when the appellant missed a deadline for filing a
petition in U.S. Supreme Court.
An appeals court dismissed the second lawsuit.
development within Baldwin Park is regulated under a Planned
Development Ordinance (PD) that was adopted by the Orlando City
Council on July 27, 1998. The PD includes a Land Use Program, a Land Use Plan, a
Regulatory Plan, open space, transportation and landscape standards,
and architectural guidelines that together define the density,
intensity, type and character of development allowed within the PD.
Use Program, Land Use Plan and Regulatory Plan were all based on the
Conceptual Development Plan submitted by the developer during the
development team selection process.
The PD Ordinance indicates that these documents would need to
be modified when detailed plans were submitted for review during the
development approval process. Several non-substantial amendments to each document have been
approved over the years.
Program – The Land Use
Program in Chapter 3 of the
PD illustrates the anticipated type and amount of development that
will be allowed at build-out. Actual
development may exceed the anticipated Land Use Program if
consistent with the entitlements provided in Growth Management Plan
(GMP) Future Land Use Element Subarea Policy 16.4.
The Subarea Policy includes office to residential conversion
factors that can be used to convert office entitlements into an
equivalent number of residential dwelling units.
The Land Use Program has been amended four times since
adoption in 1998. The
current program generally allows the following development:
Center Commercial 310,000 square feet
250,000 square feet
680,148 square feet
212,948 square feet
4,300 dwelling units
Plan – The Land Use Plan
divides the PD into broad land use categories, including mixed use,
office/mixed use, swing, attached housing, detached housing, civic,
and open space. Development
within the PD must be consistent with the uses shown on the Land Use
Plan – The Regulatory Plan further divides the PD into
character districts, including Village Center Core, Village Center
General, Neighborhood Center, and Neighborhood General.
Each district has specific development standards,
architectural standards, permitted uses and prohibited uses.
Additional standards are also provided for civic uses and for
development within a Campus Overlay Zone and a Park Edge Overlay
within the PD must be consistent with the development standards
provided for the applicable character district.
Park Town Design Review Committee (TDRC) reviews proposed
development for compliance with the PD.
All development is first reviewed and approved as a
Neighborhood Plan and then as a Subdivision Plat.
Individual site plans for multifamily and non-residential
development must go through additional review as a Specific Parcel
Master Plan. The
following is a summary of each step.
Master Plan – The PD is
generally divided into seven Neighborhood Master Plan areas:
1) the Westside Neighborhoods Package One, 2) the Westside
Neighborhoods Package Two, 3) the Westside Neighborhoods Package
Three, 4) the Eastside Neighborhoods, 5) the Village Center
Neighborhood, 6) the Neighborhood Business District, and 7) the Lake
Susannah Neighborhoods. Each Neighborhood Master Plan Area may be platted as one or
more units and may include multifamily or non-residential parcels
that are subject to further review as a Specific Parcel Master Plan.
Plats – Subdivision Plats
are reviewed for consistency with the approved Neighborhood Plan.
Individual lots and parcels may be sold and purchased once
the Final Subdivision Plat is approved, signed and recorded in
accordance with state law.
Parcel Master Plans –
Multifamily, office, retail and civic uses are approved individually
as Specific Parcel Master Plans.
Individual buildings must conform to the standards of the
underlying character district depicted on the Regulatory Plan.
Design Guidelines - The
Baldwin Park PD does not require any specific architectural style.
However, Residential Design Guidelines have been adopted for
each neighborhood. These
guidelines provide specific standards for six architectural styles
to ensure that the details of each building are consistent with the
architectural style selected. The
guidelines also include “anti-monotony ” regulations that
require a seven-lot separation between homes that have the same body
massing. The guidelines
are intended to "create a harmonious neighborhood environment
without becoming sterile or monotonous."
4 of the PD identifies the type and general location of parks, as
well as construction, maintenance and ownership responsibilities.
Parks are generally divided into four types: 1) Neighborhood
Parks, 2) Resource Base Parks, 3) Activity Based Parks and 4) the
Parks are small, decorative green spaces and private neighborhood
centers distributed throughout the community, comprising about 20
acres in all. Neighborhood
Parks are owned and maintained by the Baldwin Park Property Owners
Association. Resource –based parks generally include stormwater or
natural ecological systems. Activity-based
parks include recreational facilities, such as ball fields and
Village Harbor terminates New Broad Street at Lake Baldwin in the
November 15, 2004, the City Council clarified park ownership and
maintenance responsibilities by approving an “Interlocal Agreement
Regarding Certain Parks.” The
Agreement specifically identified 47 acres of resource-based parks
that would be developed by the Urban Orlando Community Development
District (CDD) but
remain open to the public.
January 9, 2006, the City Council approved a “City Parks
Development and Reimbursement Agreement.” Under the terms of the
agreement, the developer was allowed to contract for the design and
construction of City parks within the PD. The purpose of the agreement was to speed the design and
construction of park improvements and reduce costs by utilizing
contractors already under contract or actively engaged in
construction activities at Baldwin Park.
12 of the PD provides procedures for amending the regulations in the
PD. Several amendments
have been approved since the PD was originally adopted in 1998.
These amendments will be incorporated into an up-to-date PD
document after most of the development sites within the PD have been