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The St. Cloud City Council is scheduled to vote May 12 on five voluntary annexation requests west of the St. Cloud canal.
The St. Cloud City Council is scheduled to vote May 12 on five voluntary annexation requests west of the St. Cloud canal. (City of St. Cloud)

Local developer John Reich has applied to St. Cloud to annex 25-plus acres just west of the St. Cloud Canal for a $25 million mixed-use project called St. Cloud West Village Center.

The City Council is scheduled to vote Thursday on annexation requests for five separate parcels, including the existing Fairwinds Credit Union building on U.S. 192.

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Reich Properties, which has developed and managed retail and office buildings since 2002, currently owns the two commercial parcels fronting on U.S. 192, and has a contract to purchase two interior parcels totaling 17.5 acres slated for up to 300 multifamily units.

"It's going to be a live-work, mixed-use kind of project," Reich told GrowthSpotter. "We're looking forward to embracing the urban type of development they want on the western edge of the city."

He anticipates building about 60,000 square feet of restaurants, retail and offices that will be integrated with the apartment complex by an internal road network and shared drainage. The apartments will likely be built as 2-story or 3-story garden apartments.

"It's a new venture," Reich said. "We've done lots of commercial, but this will be something new for us."

He hasn't developed a site plan yet, choosing to focus first on the annexation and rezoning. "Our final approvals are about 45 days away."

Ted Garrod, the city's economic development director, said the initial zoning for the multifamily parcels would allow housing for seniors, if Reich decides to go that route. One advantage of building the age-restricted product is that it would be exempt from school impact fees.

"We know this is an area that has a severe lack of that type of housing structure," Garrod said. "(Reich) wants to create a campus-type setting that would unify the access points and create connectivity between the housing and commercial development. It's meant to be a symbiotic relationship."

All of the property lies within the city's urban growth boundary, which falls under the joint planning agreement between the city and Osceola County. Voluntary annexation can provide some financial advantages for the developer -- lower utility costs and transportation impact fees among them.

The existing credit union would be able to take advantage of lower water and sewer rates by annexing into the city, Garrod said.

"They've been very good to work with," Reich said. "Ted has been very supportive through the process. It's been evident that this is the type of development they want in St. Cloud."

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at lkinsler@GrowthSpotter.com or (407)420-6261, or tweet me at @LKinslerOGrowth. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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