The San Pedro Spiritual Development Center in Winter Park has been offering human, intellectual, spiritual, and pastoral development through retreats, continuing education, summer camps, and liturgical celebrations since the land was purchased by Archbishop Joseph Hurley of the Diocese of St. Augustine in 1955. When the Diocese of Orlando was formed in 1968, the ownership of the site was transferred to the new diocese. San Pedro Spiritual Development Center sits on 45 acres of the 485 acre site.
“Since 2005, bishops of the Diocese of Orlando have discussed potential opportunities for the remaining, undeveloped land owned by the Diocese of Orlando adjacent to its Spiritual Development Center. During that time, they considered the development of the property into a residential community with other amenities and infrastructure appropriate to a residential development,” said Carol Brinati, Diocese of Orlando Chief Operating Officer/Chancellor.
“Recently, the Diocese of Orlando was blessed by an offer from a development team formed by JEN Partners and Condev Companies to purchase 190 acres of the undeveloped land,” added Brinati.
Since 1969, members of the Gardner family, owners of Condev, offered their time and talent on Diocesan planning committees to develop San Pedro into the spiritual retreat center it is today. Gardner family members have participated in marriage retreats and youth summer camp programs and other spiritual offerings of San Pedro Spiritual Development Center. JEN Partners is a nationally recognized residential development firm with offices throughout the country. Together, the principals of Condev and JEN Partners have more than 100 years of combined development experience in Central Florida.
Bishop John Noonan reviewed the offer with three diocesan consultative bodies, the College of Consultors, Diocesan Real Estate Committee, and Diocesan Finance Council. All three groups agreed by majority vote to recommend to Bishop Noonan to accept the offer. Bishop John Noonan approved the sale of this land to JEN Partners and the transaction was completed on March 9, 2016. Mr. Christopher Gardner, President of Condev, will manage the execution of the project.
“The Diocese of Orlando is confident that the new owner will put forth a plan for development that honors and complements San Pedro Spiritual Development Center, and all neighboring properties in the area,” said Bishop John Noonan. “San Pedro will continue to be a beacon of spiritual refreshment for the clergy, religious and members of Christ’s faithful throughout the Diocese of Orlando,” Bishop Noonan added.
Looking to the future of the diocese, Bishop Noonan has commissioned a special committee comprised of priests and lay professionals from the fields of finance and investment to present a plan for thoughtful stewardship of the proceeds for the long term needs of the Diocese of Orlando.
“The committee has had one preliminary discussion about my three diocesan priorities which I established in 2011 and the various needs within these priorities. Some of these include improvement and refurbishment of San Pedro Spiritual Development Center and diocesan debt retirement,” said Bishop Noonan.
Bishop Noonan’s three priorities in the Diocese of Orlando are enkindling a deeper faith in the hearts and minds of our brothers and sisters; forming leaders in Christ; and harmonizing ministries to the mission of the Catholic Church.