Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) is scheduled to pay $25 million by Dec. 29 for 50 acres along the future 1.6-mile extension of Daryl Carter Parkway, a long-negotiated site for a future school that has helped galvanize county funding for the road's construction in 2017.
"I've been working on this school deal for two years, we just got it under contract earlier this year. That was a true public-private collaboration," said Daryl M. Carter, president of Maury L. Carter & Associates, which represents more than 127 acres of undeveloped land in a direct path of the road extension between Palm Parkway and Apopka Vineland Road in the Dr. Phillips area.
Carter has been working for years with adjacent property owners to get county funding and approvals lined up to complete the road.
Coordinating a public school site in the middle of that isolated expanse helped make the road's construction a county priority in the coming year, and in turn activate nearly 500 surrounding acres to new development.
The new high school is projected to open in 2022, and would serve 3,500 students to relieve the over-capacity Dr. Phillips and Freedom high schools.
It will be the first urban-form school in Orange County, built up to six stories tall with less land than the 65-acre minimum required in unincorporated areas. The site was approved by the school board and county commissioners in recent months.
Construction is now projected to start on the Daryl Carter Parkway extension by Summer 2017, with less than a year needed to build the at-grade road. The county estimated it as an $8 million project last year.
Pulte Homes is offering to build the first third of the road extension, from Palm Parkway up to a point near Hilton's Parc Soleil Resort. Orange County will build the rest, with funding reserved in its capital improvements plan.
The homebuilder is motivated to take that responsibility from the county because its nearby project demands it. The first few hundred feet of roadway will run through 15 acres where Pulte plans to break ground in First Quarter 2017 on 132 townhomes, which neighbor the 236-lot Ruby Lake Estates it's now building.
Two long-negotiated supplemental agreements to the original connector road deal made years ago with Orange County are nearly finished by Pulte and another affected land owner, The Kerina Group. They could go before county commissioners as soon as Dec. 20, or January.
Kerina's principals, based in Israel and Switzerland, have local assets represented by Kathy Keller of the The Marcent Group. The Kerina Group has nearly 300 acres directly north and west of the Daryl Carter Parkway extension and Lake Ruby, bordering either side of S. Apopka Vineland Road.
In March 2008, OCPS paid $6.25 million for 25 acres of Kerina Group land on S. Apopka Vineland Road (outlined in pink on the map above).
OCPS is now interested in swapping that site for another Kerina-owned site next to the high school land it will be buying from Carter (in green on map).
There is no contract at this time for the land swap, but negotiations may take place after the high school property sale closes, said Miranda F. Fitzgerald, co-chair of the land use practice group at Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A., and attorney for The Kerina Group.