Winter Park residents concerned over proposed exotic car dealership

A luxury McLaren car dealership could be set up at the site of the former Orchard Supply company in Winter Park, near the intersection of Orlando and Orange avenues, but local residents and city staff say they're not happy with the idea.

“Now you see a lot of McLaren's out on the road and the reason is that they're so unique. From the doors to the way the car drives, the engine, all the features that are on this car,” said Victor Falcon, Falcon Motorsports.

The McLaren is by any definition a supercar, with 570HP, 0-60 in 2.7 seconds, and a top speed of more than 200 mph.

It's exciting for sure, but Winter Park residents aren't thrilled with a plan to set up shop on the city's southern gateway.

“These are high-speed, performance vehicles that McLaren says drivers will be testing along roads where local residents exercise,” said Nolan Kline, a local resident and public health researcher who opposed the plan, “and I'm one of those local residents.”

At a recent Zoning Board meeting, McLaren Orlando showed renderings of their planned showroom. The general manager, Tom Roach, outlined the proposed test drive route.

“Which would take us south down to cutting across at the museum, going over to I-4 and coming back up Princeton to I-4 and coming back I-4 coming over on Fairbanks and back down to the store,” he said.

“So this proposed McLaren dealership worsens an already severe public health issue by adding high-speed vehicles and putting a racecar test track in a walking area,” Kline said.

City staff said at the zoning meeting that the board should vote it down. The Planning and Zoning Board will make their recommendation on the project at their next meeting in early December. After that, the full city commission is set to vote on it in mid-January.