Winter Haven bank to downsize, redevelop site with multi-tenant retail center

SunTrust Bank wants to raze its 30-year-old bank building on Cypress Gardens Boulevard in Winter Haven and redevelop the site with a multi-tenant retail center.

SunTrust is seeking a Planned Unit Development for the 2-acre site, which also includes a remote parking lot. The existing 26,300-square-foot bank building would be replaced with a 14,100-square-foot strip center. 

"The bank is looking to downsize," city planner Sean Byers said. "It’s a three-story building, and it’s predominantly empty from my understanding. They have a couple of office tenants."

The bank branch would relocate to a 3,500-square-foot end unit with a remote drive-thru kiosk in the back parking lot. The site plan identifies other tenant users for the space as a dental office, a jeweler and a restaurant for the other end cap. 

Hill Gray Seven is the developer and Z Development Services is project engineer.

"It's going to be a pretty intricate redevelopment because the bank has to stay open during construction," Byers said. "So they have to build part of the new building before they can demolish the old bank." 

The case goes to the city's Planning Commission on Feb. 6. The planning staff has recommended approval, noting that the project could help stimulate more commercial redevelopment along the Cypress Gardens Boulevard corridor. 

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