The city of Winter Garden is close to signing off on a new mixed-use development dubbed The Exchange.
Construction and development firm R. C. Stevens Construction Company has been working with city planning officials for more than two years to bring the project together. The final site plan goes before the City Commission on Thursday.
Plans call for a three-story office building with ground-floor retail and restaurant space at 270 and 252 W. Plant St., next to City Hall. Once complete, the development will span about 45,000 square feet.
Tim M. Keating, president of RCS, told GrowthSpotter the firm is in the process of obtaining construction financing for the project. He estimates the total cost of the mixed-use development to range between $13 million to $15 million.
The Exchange will offer restaurant and retail spaces ranging between 1,000 square feet to about 7,000 square feet on the ground floor. The second and third floors will be designed to accommodate business operations ranging between 2,500 square feet to 14,000 square feet.
Jay Strates of Strates Group Commercial Real Estate is spearheading leasing efforts.
June Engineering Consultants is the engineer. Daniel Farmer, of Farmer Architecture, is the architect. Morrissey Design Studio helped design the project.
Keating said there’s a strong demand for large office space with direct access to restaurants in downtown Winter Garden.
“[The Exchange] will have the largest office space available in downtown," Keating said. “I moved our office here [from Orlando] about six years ago... It’s awesome for my employees, they’re able to walk downtown, along Plant Street, and have numerous restaurant options. It’s an added benefit."
Recent companies that have established a presence along Plant Street include the Crooked Can Brewing Company. Last month, GrowthSpotter reported that Dackor, a manufacturer and distributor of design surface products, is planning to expand its corporate headquarters in Winter Garden.
In 2017, the city issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to buy and redevelop a portion of the property where RCS plans to develop The Exchange.
The 0.19-acre parcel currently houses a vacant 5,528-square-foot building. The property formerly served as a location where the city carried out administrative services. It also once housed a film academy.
RCS won the contract to purchase the property from Winter Garden for about $423,000.
In 2017, it purchased two adjacent parcels, which make up a parking lot, for a total of $700,000. Combined the properties span a little more than half an acre.
The company expects to begin demolition work within the next month. The building period is slated to last less than a year, Keating said.
Across the street, a new boutique hotel is replacing a shuttered billing office at 8 North Highland Avenue. The project will be downtown Winter Garden’s first new hotel in decades. Once complete, it will feature 60 rooms.