The State of Florida paid $1.08 million last week for the land to build a key segment of the Shingle Creek Regional Trail (SCRT) in the city of Kissimmee along the shore of Lake Tohopekaliga.
The trail segment will be known as the Yates Connector, in recognition of longtime land owners Cecil and Billie Yates. The couple, along with members of the Koger family, sold a total of 33 acres to the Department of Environmental Protection Internal Improvement Trust.
Daryl Carter, president of Maury L. Carter & Associates, represented the sellers. Carter has the exclusive listing for the 194-acre parent parcel on John Young Parkway, which is on the market for $7.5 million.
That property is currently zoned for Highway Commercial use, but Carter said the trail makes it better suited for residential or multifamily development.
"It's been under contract twice to two different homebuilders," he told GrowthSpotter. "The State of Florida bought the trail corridor, but we have the right to cross it, so that makes it an amenity for whatever use goes there."
The trail would connect to the Toho Vista segment of the SCRT, which should be under construction this year, giving it direct trail access to Kissimmee's Lakefront Park. The city was awarded a $2.3 million FDOT grant to help pay for the trail construction.
Senior Planner Randy Schrader, project manager for the Kissimmee portion of the trail, said the design for the Yates Connector is at the 60-percent completion stage.
"The design should be wrapped up by this summer," Schrader said. "It's not funded for construction. It's going to be expensive -- the latest estimate was almost $8 million because it's all boardwalk."
He said the city is hoping a buyer or developer will help fund the Yates Connector in exchange for mobility fee credits.
"We'd love to see it be developer-driven," he said. "That would be an insane amenity."
The regional trail project spans 32 miles across both Osceola and Orange counties and through the cities of Orlando and Kissimmee.
The trail would cross John Young Parkway onto the city-owned Lancaster Ranch property and loop around the future 163-acre city park.