Haines City’s own Feltrim Group, run by CEO Garrett Kenny, is the only developer who submitted a bid to redevelop a portion of city’s downtown business district. Feltrim’s plan includes retail stores, some offices and some apartments and will cost between $12 million and $15 million, Kenny told GrowthSpotter.
“It has the potential to really improve the downtown of Haines City,” Kenny said. Haines City put out a request for proposals in August asking for bidders to purchase or lease two parcels, which are owned by the city and in the city’s Central Business District. The parcels, at 117 N. Seventh St. and 121 N. Eighth St., are known as the Dance Studio and Cromer properties. Each has a building that would likely be demolished as part of any infill redevelopment plan.
The city’s RFP instructions were with a specific plan that “development of these sites are expected to catalyze redevelopment, beautification, and provide for both retail, office, multi-family housing, and community-parking opportunities within the Haines City Central Business District (CBD) and the Community Redevelopment Area (CRA). The proposed project should be attractive, stimulate additional development activity, provide opportunities to live and work, and substantially add to the improvement of the Central Business District.”
Included in the RFP were suggested ideas for plans: the first envisions the 57-year-old, 10,570-square-foot dance studio to give way to two structures including a three-story parking garage with 150 spaces, and another three-story building with residential units on the top two floors, and a ground floor for retail. The alternate plan would add a fourth story to the mixed-use building for additional residential units. Under both suggested plans, the smaller, Cromer property would be used for surface parking.
The RFP also lists potential commercial uses that city leaders would hope to incorporate: a microbrewery; restaurant and/or cooking facilities for either a restaurant incubator or cooking training; and 5,000 to 6,000 square feet of office space for the city.
Feltrim’s Kenny declined to say exactly what his proposal included, and City Clerk Linda Bourgeois told GrowthSpotter the proposal is protected from public disclosure for 30 days because it is still part of an active bid process.
The next step in the process is for an evaluating and ranking committee to meet on Oct. 9 before making a presentation and recommendation to the City Commission, Bourgeois said.
Feltrim has been one of the biggest boosters for Haines City, investing millions in new vacation home communities like Balmoral at Water’s Edge, and in luring a Ronaldo Soccer Academy to the town. The company also developed the 361-lot Tarpon Bay residential subdivision, which it sold earlier this year to D.R. Horton.
Feltrim has another Haines City project in the works – Clay Cut Landings - a planned residential community that will consist of 495 single-family homes with 52-feet by 120 feet lots, Kenny told GrowthSpotter. Minimum square footage under air conditioning will be 1500 square feet.
The name Clay Cut is a nod to Haines City, which used to be called Clay Cut. The subdivision will be located east of Powerline Road and south of Hinson Avenue east. Zoning for residential planned unit development (RPUD) was approved by the planning board and is on the City Commission’s Oct. 3 agenda.
Clay Cut Landings will be built in about five phases, Kenny said. When completed, the community will have two club houses, each with a pool and several small recreation areas including a pond and children’s areas, he said. “We are not just building a concrete jungle,” Kenny said – it’s a community for families. “We want to take care of the kids.”