The third time was the charm for Avex Homes.
St. Cloud’s City Council voted 4-1 Thursday night to accept the Orlando developer’s $4.65 million offer to buy the 143-acre Stevens Plantation North property along Canoe Creek Road.
“I am relieved and proud that they selected us,” Avex President Eric Marks told GrowthSpotter. “We’re really now at the beginning of what will be a creative and challenging process to come up with a concept plan that works for everybody.”
Councilman Keith Trace was the only member to vote against the deal.
Avex was one of seven developers that submitted bids for the site about two months after the City Council canceled the sale to Gentry Land/Equity Investments. This time the offering excluded the 46-acres of city-owned land that was designated as the site of a future law enforcement complex.
Avex had previously offered $6.825 million for the larger property, but council members felt the previous concept plan had too much density. This time the developer came back with a significantly scaled down proposal that would cap the number of single family homes and townhomes at 380 units with 3 acres of parks, 50,000 square feet of commercial space and just 100 multifamily units.
“We expect to do some form of multifamily, but it may not be traditional apartments,” Marks said. “I’m not sure what form it will take.”
Council members were more concerned about the amount of non-residential uses planned for the site and the quality of retail. But they noted they could cancel the contract if they’re not happy with the concept plan Avex brings back in three months.
Marks promised that wouldn’t happen. “I will tell you we’re committed to working with the city to find a a plan than can work for both of us,” he said. “I don’t want to waste my time. I’ve heard it from all of you that you want to see a good mixed-use plan.”