Old Rocket City Is On The Rise Residents And Builders Find Wedgefield Welcome Chan... Page 1 of3
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Old Rocket City Is On The Rise • Residents And Builders Find Wedgefield Welcome Change May
17. t987 I By lynn Philips of The Senl,nel Stall
Cary Linden wrestled with a weighty case 01 buyer's remorse Stlortly after buying his lakefront kit in the Wedgefield Goll & Country Club deveklpment In 1984. linden. IlOW one of the commun'ifs biggest boosters, Visited Wedgeneld with his wife, Alice, alter spotting an ad that talked about "florida's best kept secret" Ad!. By GoogIe
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VVtlen they arrived at the east Orange County developmenl on State Road 520, the sun was setting and tl1ere was a rosy glow draped over the last available iakelrootlot, The Lindens snapped ~ up, even before tOUring the models. They didnl want illo get away. 1Nithin a day or two, Unden confesses. they had second thoughts about buying into this seemingly remote community, once known as Rockel City and then Cape Orlando. There were only about 47 other families lhere at the time 'We fell like pioneers," he sald. But the wonies are long gone, Unden. llOW presklem of the homeowners assocJalion and ~ 01 its newslener, the Wedgefield Magnifier, eagerly elaborates on the Virtues 01 liVing at Wedgefield and its potential. He has lots of company, There are about 250 occtJpied houses providing homes for abo!Jt 530 people Aller silling dormant for many years, "old Rocket City Is blasttng off," linden said, A kind of roadskfe surprise 10 mOlonsts, sandwiched as it is between swatches of prairie on S R. 520, Rockel City was started by All State Qevelopmenl Co, In 1962, the height of the boom althe Space Cenler, said Robert Root. vice president Of Cape Orlando Corp., the current developer
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It was planned as a 2O,OOO-ac:re development lhat would supply housing fOf the Kennedy Space Center employees as well as Ihose In Orlando, BUlthe boom went bUSt. said Root, When former President tyndon Johnson moved the Space industry to Houston. Rocl<.et City went under. John O. MacArthur, the late blilionalre insurance magnale and land developer from SOuth Flonda, in the early 1970s tried to revive the project as Cape Orlando, but without much ~.
Old Rocket City Is On The Rise Residents And Builders Find Wedgefield Welcome Chan... Page 2 of3
Cape Orlando, whK:h now has 7.000 acres, got a new owner -1I1e Cape Orlando COIl>. headed by John Forrer _ (n early 1983, Root said. It also got a new name - Wedgefield Gott & Country Club - to help Indo. by t<....."r&SE!nt1e:nelv, lI'Itl!/(e 1U~ Ii'rIilge.1 T6m1. ot SerM;e _
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It was tough to Ollercome lhe less·tharl-successfUllmage of the past, Root said
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The face 11ft has included upgrading the golf collrse and the ~ and baseball diamond.
of amenities such as a tot lot, picnic
In addltlon, builders have e~pande<! their product repenolre Wedgefield houses are priced from S70.0OO to abollt S225.OOO. Qual1er·acre lots cost S11.000 to S12,OOO: S21 ,000 to S22,000 If the lots are on the golf course. Ads
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New Disney Homes for Sale Golden Oak at Walt Disney Wol1d~. LUKury and Privacy. For Sale Nowl wwt di'fIIyQOldeooal! COOl Richmond American, one of the major builders, offers eight models ranging from 1,400 square feet at $72.950 to 2.000 sqllare leet at S92,950, said Bob Morales, Richmond American design director. He said buyers, true to mart<.eting stlldies, have InclUded families In which one spouse works In the Cape Canaveral area and the other In Orlando. In additlon, ,they are drawing retirees who like the golf course. It is a good miK, said Morales. Pan 01 the appeal has been the pridng, Morales said The company can sell the same hoose il would sell in Orlando for aboul S10,000 iess at wedgefield becallse of the lower land COSlS, he said Lots are 851eet to 90 feet Wide al'ld are as deep as 130 feet, he saId BLllIders Mike McGUire and hiS lather Hlibert McGuire came 10 Orlando from Fort Lauderdale and looked all over Orlando lor a building site. They wanted a place with long·term growth potential and good land values. They picked Wedgefield. Their company, Tomax Corp., started buildinllin 1983 and now has built about 60 houses and villas. "People lhought we were CI'lUY." saki Mike McGuire. But. he added, the lasl three hOlJses Tomax sold went lor more than S200,OOO. Tomax's newest products are The Villas of Wedgefield, townhouses with Hie roofs localed on the golf course. The villas are priced from S69,900 to S89,9Q0. The McGuires also nve at Wedgefield, They said they wouldn' live elsewhere al'ld those thoughts are shared by other resldenlS such as Sylvia Cox. named cili~en of the year by the commun~y's homeowner association Mrs. COl< said she and her husband Thad looked all over Orlal'ldo belore moving Into Wedgefield. "Every place was real crowded," she said. They foond the 5pap! ltH:Iy wanled at Wl!dgelfeld and nature. ''I'm a Mture persoo." For a while, she said, deer would wanderlnlo jhe back yard, lured by a salt block. "I can sit oot by my swimming pool and hear about 10 different calls of birds ... where In the world could we live and have tranquility like this?" Because it is about 27 miles easl of downtown Orlando, it does take a white to reach shopping and recreationallacHilies. But residents such as COK said the distance has served 10 make the community a close-knit ooe. 1t has made them almost socially self·suffident.
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Orlando Sentinel article on Wedgefield Rocket City.