The City of Apopka is moving forward on plans to transform its small-town downtown area into a vibrant, community-oriented city center.
Mayor of Apopka Bryan Nelson told GrowthSpotter the next phase of the Apopka City Center master-planned community entails building a 42,000-square-foot Winn-Dixie grocery store north of U.S. Route 441, as well as a new 12,500-square-foot food hall west of the recently opened Hilton Garden Inn hotel at 580 E Main Street.
Drawing a comparison to Plant Street Market in historic downtown Winter Garden, Nelson said “Why can’t we have one here too? People love food halls, including myself.” He adds he believes the plans will bring about more jobs to the area, as well as give residents a communal space to grab a drink and eat around its downtown.
In 2016, the city entered into a 10-year contract partnership with Taurus Investment Holdings to develop a large stretch of mostly vacant land situated between the intersection of U.S. 441 and S.R. 436. The 35-acre Apopka City Center project is poised to feature up to 200,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and office space on the north and south sides of the East Semoran Boulevard (S.R. 436) and West Orange Blossom Trail interchange, once complete.
A recent version of the master-planned community calls for 195 multifamily units, a 2,500-square-foot cafe with a drive-through, 14,000-square feet of retail, a 12,500-square-foot brewery/food hall, the Winn-Dixie grocery store and two retail outparcels.
The first phase included the 114-room Hilton Garden Inn hotel, which opened last summer, and the renovation of the historic Highland Manor house that currently serves as a 17,000-square-foot event/wedding venue.
“Highland Manor is the crown jewel of [Apopka City Center],” Nelson said. “Taurus really fired the place up...I heard [Highland Manor] is booked every weekend through the end of this year. The hotel is also doing well. Occupancy has been outstanding.”
Craig Govan, development partner at Taurus Investment Holdings, said a site plan for the Winn-Dixie grocery store was recently submitted to the city of Apopka. ELEVEN18 Architecture is the architect.
An entity tied to TCII Capital is under contract to purchase the 6.5-acre site at 611 E. Main Street. An adjacent 1.3-acre parcel will be part of a later phase and consist of more retail space.
Taurus Investment Holdings owns a little more than 13 acres within the Apopka City Center property, including the hotel and wedding venue.
The food hall, planned to rise on 0.82 acres at 506 S. Mcgee Ave. has space for between eight to 12 tenants, including a roughly 2,600-square-foot brewery that will serve as its anchor.
Govan said Jeremy Roberts, president and owner of Orange County Brewers and Brew Theory, will be occupying the food hall.
Roberts told GrowthSpotter he anticipates opening a regional brewery in the location but hasn’t decided on one yet. He adds the food hall will focus on providing public gathering spaces around the building’s perimeter, multiple covered outdoor seating options and artificial grass turf.
“I think [Apopka City Center] is a great location,” Roberts said. “There’s a tremendous amount of population growth happening out there and development.”
Govan said the construction of the food hall and Winn Dixie store is anticipated to begin by the first quarter of the new year.