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Former hog farm turned prospective project, Allure on the Parkway (in yellow), would help build out of the area in Lake Mary north of Colonial Town Park and south of the ramp that leads to S.R. 417.
Former hog farm turned prospective project, Allure on the Parkway (in yellow), would help build out of the area in Lake Mary north of Colonial Town Park and south of the ramp that leads to S.R. 417. (Seminole County)

Plans to build a large mixed-use development in Lake Mary appear to be back on track, after Seminole County planners have concluded the project would fit the character of the surrounding development.

First reported by GrowthSpotter on Feb. 21, Cincinnati-based Capital Investment Group met that month with Seminole County planners to discuss "Allure on the Parkway," a proposed mixed-use project with 300 apartments, a 200-room hotel, an 80,000-square-foot office building, a 15,000-square-foot restaurant and 40,000 square feet of retail. The 12.2-acre site is located on the west side of International Parkway near the ramp that leads to S.R. 417.

During that informal meeting, planners informed Gregg Fusaro, a partner at Capital Investment Group, that the proposed project was not consistent with the future land-use designation. The property is designated as a high-intensity plan development – target industry, which requires less than 50 percent of the project be set aside for residential. Capital Investment Group's plan would have 63 percent of the site area developed as residential.

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After buying a majority stake in the former 'Gunter Village' site, Capital Investment Group is in early-stage talks with Seminole County about the land's mixed-use potential.



"The residential restrictions are in place because we want that area to be developed for quality jobs created by targeted industries," said Kathy Hammel, principal planner for Seminole County.

In the months since that meeting, planners have determined that Capital Investment Group's plan would in fact be complementary. In a staff report written by Hammel, planners note that:

Capital Investment Group may not be able to do the kind of apartment building it hoped for in Lake Mary.



-- The west side of International Parkway has developed primarily as residential that supports the 4.5 million square feet of Class A office space in the Lake Mary submarket, most of which is located along the International Parkway corridor. In fact, Capital Investment Group's land is surrounded on the north, west and south by residential development.

-- The apartment units would be located next to the Seminole Wekiva Showcase Trail, which would enhance the walkability in the area.

"There is not a lot of connectivity in that corridor," Hammel said. "We need more developments that provide that type of connectivity, and this project would score high for walkability."

-- Directly across the street from the proposed Allure site, Seminole County has approved a mixed-use development called Colonial Town Park North. The 18-acre project has no residential component and 800,000 square feet of office space, as well as retail, restaurant and hotel space. Though Allure and Town Park North are two separate projects with two separate developers, the residential component of Allure would complement the new office space to be built.

Despite the conclusion that Capital Investment Group's plan is compatible for the area, Fusaro and his team are not yet ready to break ground. The Seminole County Commission must approve an amendment to the future land-use designation, and commissioners are scheduled to take up matter off on Tuesday.

If commissioners agree with staff findings, the matter will be submitted to the state for a large scale land use amendment. The state has 30 days to respond.

If the state has no objections, the County Commission would formally approve the amendment in September. At that point Fusaro and Capital Investment Group would proceed through the normal development review process.

Reached Thursday by GrowthSpotter, Fusaro declined to comment until after the County Commission action on Tuesday.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at gnip@me.com. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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