What will be the fate of the Winter Springs Town Center house?

A single-family house, nestled within the Winter Springs Town Center’s four-story buildings, restaurants and shops, has quietly been on the market for the past year, listed as a commercial lot for more than $2 million. 

A single-family house, nestled within the Winter Springs Town Center’s four-story buildings, restaurants and shops, has quietly been on the market for the past year, listed as a commercial lot for more than $2 million

Some residents, including the person currently living in the house, Quinn Hayman, have expressed wishes that the house be retained as a historical landmark.  

“It is a unique experience living in this house,” said Hayman, who has been leasing the property from local attorney John Iriye since 2020.

The house, located at the intersection of Tuskawilla Road and Blumberg Boulevard and sitting on 1.29 acres, is flanked by two four-story buildings. According to the Seminole County Property Appraiser, the house was built in 1975 and belonged to June and Laverne Kingsbury, a family that had also owned the 19 surrounding acres. In 2002 they started selling parts of their property to developers, making way for the Town Center. 

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According to the plan’s sketches, the City of Winter Springs assembled the Town Center Master Plan through a seven-day design session involving community members, local leaders and design professionals in 1998 to build up a “symbol of the community, a reflection of its values and aspirations.” While some sketches show a large building where rhe Kingsbury house is, Paul Partyka, who was the city’s mayor when the Town Center was being planned, said they knew the owners didn’t want to sell and therefore planned around it. 

“The Master Plan did not have Kingsbury’s house in it because they didn’t want to sell it,” he said.

A red marker within Google Maps shows the Kingsbury house within the Winter Springs Town center.
A red marker within Google Maps shows the Kingsbury house within the Winter Springs Town center.

An old-world house 

Laverne Kingsbury died in 2012, followed by his spouse June in 2014. The last parcel was sold that year to Iriye for about $500,000, according to the Seminole County Property Appraiser.

Iriye fixed the property to maintain a modern single-family residence and character and used it as his home office for five years. He said that the house could exist with little interference from the outside world when he bought it. 

“The property had a water well that pulled drinking water from the ground and its own septic system,” Iriye said. “The only thing that connected [the previous owners] to the outside world was a power cable that went to the house.”

In 2020 he leased the house to Hayman, who lives there with her 8-year-old son, her partner and two French bulldogs. Hayman said she enjoys living steps away from so many local businesses and events. She said she can watch the Fourth of July fireworks from every window inside the house. 

“During festivals, I can always see the fireworks and be in the middle of the events without leaving my house,” she said. “It’s nice to have such a big yard and suburban lifestyle and still be a minute away from all the restaurants and grocery stores.”

But Hayman said there are drawbacks of living in the only single-family residence in the Town Center, the biggest being that the city sometimes blocks the road leading to her house, as well as her driveway, for several days while hosting events, preventing her and emergency vehicles from accessing the residence. Another drawback is litter.  

“I find chicken bones and other trash in my yard every day,” Hayman said. “Several times, I had to save one of my dogs from choking because he accidentally ate these bones.”

An image shows the Kingsbury house with the Winter Spprings Town Center in the background.
According to current owner John Iriye, the house had its own water well and septic system when he purchased it in 2014. Photo by Maria Panicheva.

Located between two four-story buildings, Hayman said the 1970s house stands out against the backdrop of the carefully planned Town Center. She notices the surprised glances of passers-by every day. 

“The most common question I am asked is ‘How much money you’ve been offered for it?'” Hayman said. 

Realizing that the property should match its commercial surroundings, Iriye wanted to develop the property but couldn’t afford to do it himself. While he said he received many offers to buy the house since he purchased it, he only listed it for sale last year. 

The Winter Springs Town Center code allows development of many uses for this property,  including retail, administrative buildings and even veterinary clinics. Iriye said keeping the house untouched wouldn’t be a wise use of the land because the city needs more residential density to achieve a self-sustaining ecosystem within the Town Center. 

“Instead of that single-family home, there could be built a residential unit that could provide homes for more locals, create more employment opportunities to make the Winter Springs Town Center a true heart of the city,” he said.  

Hayman said that even though she understood why a new apartment complex would be a “perfect piece to complete” the Town Center, she wouldn’t want to see her home of three years being torn down. 

Many echoed her opinion in the comments of a Facebook post concerning the home, expressing their sadness to see the rural areas disappear. Milton Cannon commented, “sadly someone will knock [the house] down to cram a multi-story complex in there.” Julie Hamrick Hagge added she wished “they would keep it and make it a historical landmark!”

Mayor Kevin McCann said he’s typically a champion for the preservation of Winter Springs’ small-city charm. However, he said a single-family home in the middle of the shopping center wasn’t “a fight the residents needed.” 

“The Town Center Master Plan was designed as a mix of restaurants, retail and living space because that’s what people want to have in the heart of the city,” McCann said. “The achievement of this goal will help us preserve and protect many other neighborhoods.”

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