Flowers Bakery is planning a distribution center and small store on at the corner of U.S. 441 at Nelson Street, says a consultant who has been trying to find a buyer for the 4.32 acres since plans for a church on the site went south before the recession.
"It's been for sale since the cows came home, maybe six years," said Matt Cady, of Catalyst Development. The recession was the problem, he said.
"It's an awesome location," he said. "You can't beat it with a stick. But six years and not one phone call and I probably got 15 calls in the last six months."
Flowers has the land under contract and is waiting for a rezoning request to be approved. If the bakery deal falls through, Cady is confident another buyer will be along.
"Six years not one phone call and now I have three … backup deals'' for the spot, he said. "As far as I am concerned the recession is over."
Cady said the bakery is expected to add 30 jobs to the community.
Flowers reprsentatives from its Ocala home did not return GrowthSpotter's telephone call and e-mail request on Monday. Its website shows three other bakeries in the greater Orlando area, in Sanford, Leesburg and DeLand.
The City of Tavares is processing a zoning change for the land to commercial. Half the parcel is already commercial and the other half is residential, said Jacques Skutt, Tavares' director of community development. The line runs through the middle.