The city of Ocoee is moving forward with a key component to its initial $43 million redevelopment plan set to revitalize its downtown area — the relocation of its City Hall.
Earlier this month, city commissioners singled out the design of the new City Hall building after being presented with three options that each came with different price tags. Of the three, the city picked a concept that uses a combination of brick masonry with precast concrete.
The project is estimated to cost $12 million, with $9 million coming from the 2017 General Fund Bond.
City Manager Rob Frank told GrowthSpotter with the exterior style selected, contractor Wharton-Smith and HKS Architects can begin designing the building.
“The design phase will take approximately six months and construction is anticipated to begin in May,” he said. Construction of the building should take about 15 months.
City commissioners will give final approval of the project prior to construction.
The new City Hall will be located on city-owned property on the northeast corner of Bluford Avenue and McKey Street.
Its current building was built in 1994 at 150 N. Lakeshore Drive. According to published reports, that building is undergoing structural stress and is slowly sinking into the ground it was built on.
The new single-structure building is slated to house all of the City Hall staff and provide ground floor spaces for retail and food services.
At the meeting, Frank was unanimously granted the power to approvespecifics related to the floor plans. He said the details on the interior floor plans and furnishings are still being worked out.
Building a new City Hall is one of the key steps to revitalizing the downtown. The master plan includes dishing out more than $8 million to develop a downtown stormwater system and $9.7 million for the reconstruction of Bluford Avenue. The expansion of the Lakeshore Center is also part of the plans.
The redevelopment project is part of a city effort to attract more economic development that can support a growing number of residents moving into the area.
The city’s population has nearly tripled since the initial City Hall was built in the mid-1990s from 17,000 residents to 46,000.
Developers active in the area include Richard Wohlfarth of Wohlfarth Consulting Group, who is currently developing roughly 70 vacant acres in the city into a bustling master-planned community equipped with apartments, townhomes and more than 150,000 square feet of commercial space.