Osceola County's 'Sunbridge' development requiring homes equipped with solar panels
SAINT CLOUD, Fla. - Developer Tavistock is working on a new project called "Sunbridge." The 27,000-acre property features homes being built with solar panels right from the start, that provide power to the house, and if the homeowner wants it, a battery backup in case the power goes out.
Mayra Pelaez is just moving into her new home in the Sunbridge Weslyn Park subdivision. "Oh, we're so excited! Really excited!" she said, "We moved from New York last year, and finally we're moving to the new home!"
Hers is one of nearly 600 new homes that's going up in this part of the Sunbridge development project, in northern Osceola County, southeast of Orlando. "We are truly developing Sunbridge and completely re-looking at how you can build a community that preserves and protects our environment for future generations," said Jessi Blakley, a vice president at Tavistock.
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The whole plan will eventually hold nearly 23,000 single-family homes and 13,000 multifamily residences. Tavistock said each home is built to high environmental standards, including the solar panels and wiring that provides a minimum of 4.25 kw of electricity right from the start.
"It's amazing," Pelaez said, "it's not having to deal with buying solar panels and not knowing what to do, the house comes with solar panels. Now we're getting into a new car, which is going to be electric, so it helps a lot. And it's also good for the environment."
Construction in the Weslyn Park community started in Spring of 2021. Tavistock said building-out the entire Sunbridge project is going to be a multi-decade process. Susan Caswell, Osceola County Sustainability Director, said Sunbridge is a good fit for their development goals because of its sustainable character. "To have a developer providing that from the start is just a tremendous advantage for the community."