Osceola County Commissioners voted this week to spend $11.27 million of Tourist Development Tax dollars to add another 82 acres to the Austin-Tindall Regional Park on Boggy Creek Road.
The vote capped a two-year negotiation for the property, which will allow the county to expand the park to as many as 20 fields and attract even larger sporting events.
It’s the second major expansion at the park, which hosts soccer, football and lacrosse tournaments. The county completed a $10.7 million addition last year that included its first championship field and inaugurated the stadium by hosting the “Kickoff Classic” between Osceola High School and Dr. Phillips High School to open the high school football season.
The county secured a first-right-of-refusal agreement with the Austin family in 2017 following the recommendation from its sports facility consultant. That year the county had the land appraised and offered the Nelle Austin estate $7.5 million, but the offer was promptly rejected.
The county’s revised its appraisal to $8.65 million after the owners supplied market data and letters of intent at the higher price. The county offered $9.5 million, but the estate also spurned the offer, opting to market the land to developers. The site, just north of East Lake Tohopekaliga, is located just south of the desirable Lake Nona/Poitras submarket. Homebuilder Ashton Woods has a contract on the Marina Bay property just down the road and plans to build nearly 500 homes.
When representatives of estate told the county they had received an offer from a builder for $12 million, staff negotiated a quick close price of $11.25 million.
The purchase contract states that the closing date must be on or before Aug. 17, 2019.
The move comes a few months after the county agreed to sell its money-losing softball complex on John Young Parkway to Elevation Development for $8.125 million.