NEW: Could this commercial area be a ‘new gateway to Wellington’?

Real estate investor Everett Waldman has a bold vision.

He sees a new entry-point for Wellington: Binks Commercial Center. And his reasoning might surprise you.

“With all of the development and all of the potential traffic coming from the west, Binks could become the new gateway to Wellington,” he said.

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Waldman — formerly of Ward Waldman Real Estate but now operating solo as Folkstone Properties LLC — recently purchased four lots at the commercial center and plans to build a 3,600-square-foot building on each.

He said the properties are in a prime location with Arden being built off Southern Boulevard west of Seminole Pratt Whitney Highway and the new city of Westlake rising from the middle of The Acreage. The Florida Department of Transportation has said “highway-level” traffic is expected on Southern Boulevard over the next 10 years.

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The commercial center on the southeast corner of Binks Forest Drive and Bent Creek Road was approved in the late 1990s. It sits less than 800 feet south of Binks Forest Drive’s intersection with Southern Boulevard. With land on the south side of Southern Boulevard at a premium thanks to the C-51 canal, commuters traveling east could be willing to make a right turn into Binks rather than a more-convenient left turn to businesses on the north side of Southern, Waldman said.

He envisions doctors, lawyers, accountants and other professionals buying the buildings and custom-designing the interiors to create the feeling of being in a home. Established businesses could offer a different experience and “capitalize on their growth,” he added.

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“I bet you there are professionals out there who would want to buy a fee-simple building where they control their own destiny,” Waldman said.

Those professionals would join a commercial center with three other tenants — Grayhills and Mohip Dental, Home Away From Home Preschool and Everglades Equipment Group — and room for more growth. And growth is happening farther south on Binks Forest Drive where the Binks Pointe townhomes are being built.

The new buildings will be based on the previously approved designs, with some tweaks “that are a little bit modernized” given the OK last fall by Wellington, he said.

Waldman declined to discuss the future price tag he plans to put on each building, but acknowledged that it is his biggest investment at the moment. It’s a risk, he said, but one that may be overdue.

“The land has been sitting there for so long, and I think someone just needed the first domino to be set,” Waldman said.

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