Lake Mary 'Allure' project creeps along as developer responds to county needs
By Mike Salinero
May 09, 2017 | 5:33 PM
The Cincinnati-based developer of Allure on the Parkway, a proposed mixed-use project on the west side of International Parkway near Lake Mary, continues to push through the Seminole County permitting process with no ground-breaking date set.
Seminole County Commissioners seemed to have cleared the way for the 12.2-acre project in September when they approved a large-scale Land Use Development amendment and rezoning, which allowed developer Capital Investment Group(CIG)to include 300 apartments in the project.
Other components of the plan include 80,000 square feet of office space, a 200-room hotel, a 15,000-square-foot restaurant and 40,000 square feet of retail.
Since that September commission meeting, however, CIG has been busy working on complying with seven pages of comments made by different county departments as recently as March, said Kathy Hammel, principal planner in the county's Development Services Department.
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An example of a condition still needing to be met: The site plan did not provide safe pedestrian circulation that gives access to the entire development.
"There needs to be a direct bicycle and pedestrian access to the (Seminole Wekiva Showcase) trail that is located in proximity to the apartments," planning staff commented. "The current access is located on the south property line in which residents must cross a parking lot to access. There are no sidewalk connections from the building units to the trail and within the development."
Other comments relate to shortcomings of proposed landscape buffers around the development, the need for a traffic analysis, and corrections to the parking scheme.
Hammel said CIG has not submitted any further plans or building permit requested associated with Allure on the Parkway.
"The next public hearing would be for the Preliminary Subdivision Plan, but it has not been scheduled," she said.
Gregg Fusaro, a partner with CIG, declined an interview on Tuesday, but did say via e-mail that the project "is moving forward through architectural drawings, permitting and financing."
"I can't give you a start date at this time," Fusaro wrote.
CIG recently filed an application for an Environmental Resource Permit with the St. Johns River Water Management District to construct a storm-water management system on the property.
The application was a modification of a permit issued in April 2009 for the same property, but related to a proposed development called Gunter Village. The name referred to Max Gunter, a former owner who ran a pig farm there.
Plans for Gunter Village emerged in 2006 with South Florida-based Aztec Group as the developer. But the project faltered on the waves of the Great Recession.
In February 2016, CIG paid $6 million for a 75 percent stake in the property. Fusaro said at the time the land had already been approved for Planned Development zoning.
Shortly afterwards, however, county planners told Fusaro the proposed project was not consistent with the Future Land Use designation. The land was designated High Intensity Planned Development -- Target Industry, which requires that less than 50 percent of the project be set aside for residential. CIG was proposing 63 percent residential.
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"The residential restrictions are in place because we want that area to be developed for quality jobs created by target industries," Hammel said.
But in the following months county planners changed their minds, saying Allure on the Parkway's residential component would be complimentary to the area. One reason was that planners considered the Allure site as "infill development," surrounded by multifamily complexes to the north and south, and single-family homes to the west.
They also cited Colonial Town Park North, an approved mixed-use development on the east side of International Parkway. Colonial has no residential component but 800,000 square feet of office space, as well as retail, restaurants and hotel. Allure on the Parkway's residential units could provide housing for workers in office space provided by Colonial and other target industries in the area, planners said.
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