Seminole County is beginning to roll out the first phase of its Five Points Government Complex in Sanford, which according to the master plan, could cost the county nearly $490 million to complete over the span of ten years.
Earlier this summer, Seminole County chose Wharton-Smith Company to design and build an addition to the Juvenile Detention Center at 190 Eslinger Way — kicking off one of the first components of its long-time planned consolidation strategy that aims to move a significant portion of its public service offices into the Five Points Complex along U.S. 17-92.
CGL and Dewberry identified the county’s oldest buildings most in need of repair or replacement, like its civil courthouse building at 301 N. Park Avenue.
Meanwhile, the county’s largest and newest buildings are located in the Five Points Complex.
The campus currently houses county offices for the sheriff, animal services, state attorney and public defender, along with the John E. Polk Correctional Facility. Other facilities include the county’s public safety building and juvenile detention center.
Seminole County’s vision for the Five Points campus is to move civil court operations and administrative offices like those of commissioners, staff, property appraiser and tax collector into one convenient centralized location.
“The consolidated central location allows for one stop shopping for the citizens and taxpayers of Seminole County and enables the county to provide services in a more efficient and effective manner,” the master plan states.
Overall plans are projected to take a decade to complete and cost between $421 million to about $488 million, which is about $21 million to $32 million less than if the county chose to maximize and reuse its current buildings.
The consolidation option also allows Seminole County to redistribute $947,381 in annual lease payments. Annual capital financing appropriation is estimated to range from $22.5 million to $30.4 million.
A significant element of the master plan is the relocation of Seminole County’s industrial Public Works site that currently takes up about 16 acres within the Five Points campus and contains gravel and materials storage yards and dedicated parking for large vehicles.
“Considering the compatibility issues with Public Works and the rest of the campus functions, these 16 acres are better suited to providing current and long-term expansion for the appropriate office and customer focused functions at the Five Points campus," the Master Plan reads. It recommends relocating the facilities to another county-owned site or purchasing 20 acres in a more appropriate location.
The consultants recommend building the new county administrative building and offices for other constitutional officers in its place. A solicitation for the design should be issued in 2025, according to the proposed development schedule.
A new courthouse annex would be built southwest of the existing criminal justice center, with a second-floor gateway providing a secure connection between the two buildings.
For the John E. Polk Correctional Facility, the master plan proposes a phased renovation and/or replacement of the older housing pods and support areas. Other components of the master plan include expansions and/or renovations to the museum, public safety building and Fire Station 35.
An amenity park across from the new administrative building would provide convenient services to visitors and county employees. Those could include a daycare, health clinic, fitness center and a public transportation intermodal station. In addition, the master plan includes an improved road layout, additional landscaping and wide pedestrian walkways.
The master plan also identifies the possible lease or sale of small portions of the site for retail/restaurant out-parcel use.
Leadership at Seminole State College expressed that the future campus could create a better relationship between the college and Five Points campus. Opportunities like having history students and faculty being involved with the county museum and a potential site for student housing at an undeveloped north parcel were mentioned in the master plan.
Earlier this year, Seminole County chose real estate consulting firm Project Management Advisors Inc. to help evaluate and manage the risk of the projects.
“These projects consist of large infrastructure, large occupied renovations and complex construction projects on active campuses,” Mark Knott, vice president at PMA told GowthSpotter.
"There’s a lot of stakeholders and when you have things like a Juvenile Detention Center or the Sheriff’s office, and you start to implement design and construction with existing systems and add-on systems like expanded security, there’s a lot of moving parts... I think one of the advantages that PMA brings is we’re comfortable sitting in the middle of these complex projects,” he adds.
In a recent interview with the Orlando Sentinel, Seminole County commissioners said they intend to continue with the county’s plans to move the civil-court operations and administrative offices, despite an expected $18 million decline in revenues this year because of the coronavirus shutdown.
“I think we would be very short sighted if we took this project off the table,” Commissioner Brenda Carey said.
Meanwhile, representatives at Palmeira Holdings, the Toronto-based developer that’s under contract to buy the 110-acre site of the former Flea World market right across from Five Points, told GrowthSpotter the contract is still in pace but is being delayed due to economic uncertainty caused by COVID-19.
Entitlements for its proposed mixed-use development allows for over 5,000 new apartment units and one million square feet of commercial space.