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Oviedo considers allowing old downtown buildings to be razed for new growth

Oviedo covers 16 square miles and perhaps never in its history has been so densely developed.
Oviedo covers 16 square miles and perhaps never in its history has been so densely developed. (City of Oviedo)

While Oviedo has not finished its current round of ambitious building, the city's planners are already looking ahead, and their sites are set on existing structures.

"We're getting close to that time where the cost of tearing down and building" is less expensive than working with undeveloped land, Teresa Correa, the city's development services department director, told GrowthSpotter on Monday.

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At the same time, Oviedo is finding itself in the position of many cities with significant development: large parcels are gone, and smaller properties must be patched together to assemble a sizable tract for development.

"Everything is going to be small," said Bryan Cobb, Oviedo's city manager. "We're talking in-fill projects."

Oviedo officials say the decades-old business buildings in the city's downtown, at least one of which dates back to 1927, could be razed to make way for more vibrant commercial enterprises.

The city is talking with owners of these properties about options, Correa said.

There are also a handful of dilapidated homes along Central Avenue/S.R. 434, while other residences in that area have been turned into businesses.

It makes sense to revitalize the area because it would allow Oviedo on the Park, which is the crown jewel in the city's expansion plans, to grow further north, planners say.

"We have a broad spectrum of folks who welcome what is happening and those who are terrified," Correa said.

Oviedo on the Park is a 50-acre mixed use development that will include bungalows, town homes, apartments, restaurants, retailers and offices. It has been under construction since 2012 and is in its second and final phase.

The project had been talked about since the 2000s, but only came to fruition when P.A.C. Land Development of Winter Park bought the property in 2012.

A recent look at the land showed dozens of various types of homes and apartments in development, a Panera Bread, the beginnings of a Starbucks and a Chipolte Mexican Grill.

Oviedo's building burst also includes the 64-bed acute care Oviedo Medical Center, which will join an emergency room already there. The hospital is part of the HCA chain, and is expected to open in the first quarter of next year.

In keeping with the ubiquitous nature of its operations in the Orlando area, a Wawa is going in across the street from the hospital.

And in what may be one last salvos to big residential building, the city in recent months approved eight subdivisions, with 729 units, and nine communities, with 594 residences.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at ktalley@growthspotter.com or (407) 420-5176. Follow GrowthSpotter on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

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