Osceola County demolished an abandoned, former walk-in medical clinic on the W192 tourism corridor last week after dealing with years of code violations, and is considering what should come next for the property.
The owners of the former clinic at 4721 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway had racked up more than $230,000 in code enforcement liens, fines and penalties when the county foreclosed on the property last fall.
The property just east of Lake Cecile and the S.R. 535 intersection was well known to county Code Enforcement, which had cases dating back to 2006. In 2008, the owner, Christina Allen of Capital Sun Corp., sought assistance from Code Enforcement and the Osceola Sheriff's Office because homeless people had begun sleeping on the clinic's porch and behind the building.
By 2015, squatters had taken over the now-abandoned building. Code enforcement cited Capital Sun for multiple violations. Inspectors said the windows and back doors had been broken out, the sign was falling apart and there were mattresses, junk and debris everywhere.
In December of that year, the county foreclosed on Capital Sun, winning by summary judgment in late 2016. Osceola County took title to the property in January.
When the county's building department issued a demolition permit in late April, W192 Development Authority Executive Director David Buchheit said it was music to his ears. The building had long been one of the worst eyesores on the tourism corridor, he said.
Chief Code Enforcement Officer Tom Wilkinson told GrowthSpotter the county may sell the 0.4-acre site, or could elect to redevelop it through a public-private-partnership.
County Manager Don Fisher said no decision had been made regarding how to dispose of the property, which is located on a stretch of W192 near Lake Cecile that has struggled to attract new investment.
Intram Investments, which owns Twistee Treat, bought back one of its cone-shaped ice cream shops that was next to the clinic. Intram will open a new store at Sunrise City Center, a Publix-anchored shopping center about 1.8 miles away.
"It's not in the right location in the market, so we agreed to buy the (cone-shaped) building," Intram vice president Randy Hodge said on Monday. "We're actually closing today. We're going to remove the fiberglass cone and move the store to another location."