Ocoee plans new brownfield incentives district covering much of downtown

Bob Moser
GrowthSpotter

The city of Ocoee wants to designate much of its downtown and a S.R. 429 overlay district as a new Brownfield Area, giving it another economic incentives tool to attract new development.

City staff will ask commissioners to approve a resolution on Tuesday designating a new Brownfield Area for remediation, rehabilitation and economic development. 

Only three recognized brownfield sites totaling about 7.5 acres lie in Ocoee's downtown, monitored for site contamination mostly from old fuel distributors. 

But a state statute allows Ocoee staff to consider a large amount of adjacent land as at risk of devaluation for proximity to a brownfield site. The statute doesn't limit the size of a proposed brownfield area. 

So the city can propose a geographic boundary many times larger for its brownfield overlay, and reap the benefits from state and federal tax incentives that are meant to eliminate blight and raise property values, said Michael Rumer, city planner. 

While total square miles of the new proposed overlay district were unconfirmed on Monday, the large new zone is bounded roughly by Story Road to the south, East Crown Point Road to the west, Pine Street to the north and S. Bluford Avenue to the east. 

The brownfield area would be called the Ocoee (S.E.E.D) Special Economic Enhancement District. 

Providing the brownfield designation would allow for accelerated environmental assessment and, if needed, remediation of the three properties identified as brownfields in the area, and to allow access to job-related bonus funding to encourage job creation.

Winter Springs has previously designated three SEED brownfield areas in its city limits to spur development. Lake County has eight brownfield areas registered with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Orange and Seminole counties each have more than 20 active brownfield areas, and Osceola has two. 

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.

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