Winter Park to list key city-owned parcels for sale, study City Hall move

The Winter Park Public Library.
The Winter Park Public Library. (Orlando Sentinel)

Winter Park city commissioners gave staff marching orders earlier this week on five high-profile parcels of city-owned land, which includes choosing commercial real estate brokers to market some for sale, and analyzing the potential move of City Hall.

As GrowthSpotter first reported on April 7, Winter Park is re-examining its 420 acres of city-owned property, updating an outdated master plan to determine which land to sell, which to develop and what private parcels it could acquire.


After reviewing the updated list of city-owned properties on Monday, commissioners directed staff to do the following:

-- Explore and produce a preliminary analysis on moving City Hall from 401 S. Park Ave. to the current library location of 460 E. New England Ave. The 2.8-acre parcel in Winter Park's downtown could draw a high price for private redevelopment.

In mid-March, city residents voted to pass a referendum to build a new $30 million library, events center and parking garage at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park.

With that library relocation now approved, commissioners agreed with staff's recommendation to analyze if City Hall departments could fit in the current library building. Sale of the current City Hall site could generate proceeds to pay for a large part of that future library and events center.

-- List the 0.45-acre property at 2600 Lee Road with a real estate broker for sale. The city bought the former adult entertainment building in January 2015 for $990,000, demolished the structure and hasn't been able to resell the site via its own marketing efforts.

-- Complete the Park Master Plan for Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, in coordination with the design of the new library/event center/parking garage, and then decide on the future of the former bowling alley property at 1111 W. Fairbanks Ave. The city will likely cover this property in grass until a decision is made.

-- Progress Point: commissioners agreed with staff's recommendation to survey property owners around the 3.76-acre site on N. Orange and Palmetto avenues, consider specific entitlements and hire a real estate broker.

This land was acquired by Winter Park in 2011 through a property swap with a CNL Commercial Real Estate affiliate. The city never developed it, and lost a $4.5 million offer made last September by a private developer.

-- NW Sports Complex (1938 Durham Ave.): Commissioners asked staff to come back with a comprehensive plan on use and associated costs for the 14.17-acre property, which is now identified in the Parks Master Plan as a future sports complex.

All the other sites and potential acquisitions from the staff report were discussed, however commissioners decided to wait on how to proceed with those properties.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at bmoser@growthspotter.com, (407) 420-5685 or @bobmoser333. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.