Housing, restaurants and more OH MY! That is right, a new all-inclusive development Griffin Farms Town Center is due to take Lake Mary by storm in 2018. This midtown community will have single-family homes, apartments, a grocery store, shops, restaurants and more (Fluker).
The location of this new comprehensive community will be at the corner of Lake Mary Boulevard and Longwood Lake Mary Road, just over a half mile from downtown Lake Mary. The land encompasses 4 parcels of land totaling nearly 35 acres. It is a historic piece of property with a sweet story behind it and knowing it may enhance those that live there in the future.
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Three of the parcels of land are currently owned by Griffin Interests LLC, and one by Griffin Interest LLC & Piloian Property Holdings LLC. The land will be developed by Unicorp National Developments, Inc. and among the retail stores it will also include 260 new apartments and 130 newly constructed single-family homes. But for now, it is still a cattle ranch with a long story of the American Dream.
The story of this land starts in 1862 when Lillian Humphrey Griffin’s grandfather, William “Mac” Humphrey arrived at Fort Reid, now Sanford’s Mellonville Ave. Orange County public records show his cattle brand was registered in 1869. At that time his cattle ranged over Volusia, Brevard, Lake, Seminole & Orange counties. In those days with no fences, the hardest part of ranching was “finding the cattle that hid among the tangle of marches, hammocks and piney woods. (Robinson)”
In 1949 Lillian married Frank Griffin. They continued the cattle ranch by purchasing this property in 1954 as well as started a construction business together. They even worked side by side helping clear the way for I-4. Over the years they have had many offers on their property but never wanted the money. They were happy with their home, their family and their land. Lillian is quoted to say in an interview in 1997 by Jim Robinson “I just like living here. It’s home. I don’t want to give it up. I don’t need no money. I’m comfortable on my land. My cattle and me are living comfortable.”
After 62 years together, both she and Frank passed away in 2011. Their children and grandchildren still live in Lake Mary area, but none of the family has lived on this ranch since 2012. Times inevitably change. And now you know the history and a snippet of the romantic tale and love of the land behind this development.
Development of the land should start in August of this year and will possibly have model homes for show by next spring. The housing along Longwood Lake Mary Road will consist of townhomes to three-story bungalows with pricing from $300,000 to $600,000. The developers are planning to capture some of the heritage by keeping a matching “modern farmhouse” and “modern coastal” feel throughout the design of the community (Berry).
Berry, Mike. Lake Mary Life: Get To Know Griffin Farms. July 2016. <https://www.lakemarylife.com/lake-mary-news/article/get-to-know-griffin-farms>.
Fluker, Anjali. Orlando Business Journal. June 2015. <http://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/blog/2015/06/exclusive-unicorp-plans-huge-mixed-use-project-in.html>.
Robinson, Jim. Orlando Sentinel. Sept 1997. <http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1997-09-26/features/9709180967_1_cattle-lake-mary-humphrey>.
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