A former orange grove with beautiful orange trees surrounding the lakes and a pond, the site was planned to utilize the trees and water in a spacious low density development with large one acre minimum lots and many open spaces to create a quiet suburban ambiance. The new development was scheduled to open in April of 1990, with model homes by prominent master custom builders.
In the last week of December, 1989 Florida suffered the worst freeze in decades and thus lost all the trees, which were still being burned at the time of the opening in April.
Waterford Pointe looked like a desert and of course was not well received. To add to the problem, the market in 1990 to 1991 was badly overbuilt by optimistic builders, some of whom had quite a number of speculative homes in a number of developments. The market collapsed and many houses went back to the lenders who in turn sold them at discounted prices. As many builders went broke, it was decision time for the developers. Options were:
- Abandon the projects and let them go back to the lender.
- Hold the builders to their purchased agreements in spite of their financial problems.
- Try to weather the storm by curtailing sales and advertising costs until the market improved.
Rolls Development, Inc. rejected one and two. The decision was made to stay with three even though other developers did not. This proved to be very costly as the market did not start back until 1994. In the meanwhile, Rolls Development, Inc. spent several hundred thousand dollars for oak trees to restore the beauty of the site.
In 1994, the first Crystal Collection was held and started sales in Waterford Pointe. In 1996, the second phase was opened with another Crystal Collection and Waterford Pointe started to move well. Rolls Development, Inc. negotiated and acquired a sizable parcel of ground to the north of the original Waterford Pointe and started planning The Reserve at Waterford Pointe. It was initially planned to add an additional 83 homes, with opening planned for 1999. Morrison Homes and Rutenburg Homes were to build the custom homes. Meanwhile, the Expressway Authority was planning to build the Western Expressway S.R. 429, but did not advise Rolls Development, Inc. of the final route until the year 2000 when Rolls Development, Inc. was advised of a condemnation of a portion of the northwest area for construction of the Expressway. The builders felt the Expressway negatively affected the sales of homes in the price range established in The Reserve at Waterford Pointe and wanted to reduce the price levels with lower priced lots and homes, which was rejected by Rolls Development, Inc. and the builders left the community.
Rolls Development, Inc. attempted to negotiate a mitigation of the impact of the expressway with the Authority in order to keep the superior quality level of homes in Waterford Pointe. However, the Authority did not agree and eventually Rolls Development, Inc. sold the undeveloped parcel to another developer, who annexed the property into Winter Garden so smaller lots and homes could be built adjacent to the expressway. This new development is known as Lake Roberts Landing. In 2008 Rolls Development constructed a privacy wall along the northern boundary between the Reserve at Waterford Pointe and Lake Roberts Landing, at no expense to the homeowners.
Waterford pointe developer, W.R. (Bill) Kribs:
Raised in St. Louis, Missouri, and attended the St. Louis Institute of Music, peformed as a professional musician in his younger years, playing music in New York, California and points in between. Bill left the music profession to work for his brother in the automobile business in St. Louis. From there, he worked his way up to dealer status having held Chrysler, Ford and General Motors franchises in three different states. Arriving in Florida in 1974 to purchase Heintzelman Ford, which was renamed Sun State Ford. Over the years in the automobile business he joined with his family and also participated in banking, insurance and warranty companies. Also, did building apartments and homes in St. Louis prior to building commercial and residential developments in Florida.
The family company, Rolls Development, Inc. developed the Tampa – Colonial Office Park in Orlando where the home office building, The Rolls Building, was located. They developed Oakwater Estates off Thompson Road in Northwest Orange County, then Waterford Pointe in the Windermere area.
Bill resides in Waterford Pointe with Francoise (Fran) along with numerous visits by children and grandchildren. Currently in the process of retiring from most of the business interests; retaining some real estate interests in Florida. He is still working with the Waterford Pointe Homeowners’ Association on occasions, under the direction of the Board of Directors on the Lakes and Ponds Committee.
Hobbies and Interests are sailing, tennis, snow skiing, rollerblading, bicycling, flying (commercial pilots license), working out in his home gym, architectural and interior design – and their real weakness – Fran and Bill love their wine with dinner and make sure the wine cellar is well stocked.