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Osceola Parkway extension would cut through Eagle Creek

Osceola Parkway extension would cut through Eagle Creek
The proposed Osceola Parkway Extension would bisect a portion of Eagle Creek that was slated for future development of 254 homes. (handout)

The Osceola County Expressway Authority is getting close to choosing the eastern-most route for the proposed Osceola Parkway Extension, and all of the options go through the exclusive Eagle Creek golf community.

"Eagle Creek will be impacted by the road," said Jeff Jones, the agency's executive director. "The developer got approval for 254 homes on land that was set aside as a former conservation easement with the water management district. And that's where the alignment goes."

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OCX has scheduled a community meeting for Nov. 3 to get public comment on the five potential routes - the final step before selecting a preferred alignment this December.

The 12-mile extension would double the length of the existing parkway and send it north to connect with S.R. 417 near Orlando International Airport. OCX has already selected preferred alignments for the western and central segments.

The eastern segment would include a full interchange at Narcoossee Road in Eagle Creek and continues either through or just south of the Split Oak Forest.

Kimley-Horn Vice President Clif Tate, project manager for the Project Development & Engineering study, said his team has worked closely with Eagle Creek developer Emerson International to determine the number of homesites that could be affected.

When the firm began the PD&E study, the Eagle Creek land was set aside for conservation. Emerson rezoned the property earlier this summer, securing entitlements for up to 254 new homesites on the parcel.

"We have a right-of-way expert working with them now to determine what the financial impact will be," Tate said.

The eastern segment could also affect Springhead Lake, a 407-acre parcel east of Lake Ajay that at one time had preliminary approvals for 643 homes and 134 townhomes. Standard Pacific, one of the builders in Eagle Creek, bought roughly half of the property in early 2014 for $12.5 million.

OCX has $70 million already budgeted in 2016 for design and right-of-way acquisition. Jones said that process would begin as soon as the board selects the preferred alignment, slated for early next year.

The OCX board is scheduled to hire a consulting engineer Thursday.

"Once we get them on board, we want to prepare a (request for proposals) to see if there is interest in firms to do a (public-private partnership.) We think there could be a market for that," Jones said. "We don't care if the (Florida Turnpike) or someone else owns it and operates it. Our only interest is in getting it built."

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at lkinsler@GrowthSpotter.com or (407)420-6261, or tweet me at @LKinslerOGrowth. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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