The City of Winter Park is still determining the future of the Orange Avenue corridor which, “will be the template for development regulations and design standards that can be used on other corridors, such as West Fairbanks,” according to Planning Manager Jeffrey Briggs.
Of particular interest has been the Progress Point property, located at 1150 N. Orange Ave. at the Denning Drive intersection. Comprised of 3.7 acres, the property and its building were acquired by the city in 2011. A lone purchase-and-redevelopment offer was rebuffed in 2015.
“It is not listed for sale,” Briggs noted, “and the City is not accepting offers for purchase at this time.”
It is, however, accepting contractor bids for the demolition of Progress Point’s long-empty building and will be doing so through Nov. 14 at 2 p.m.
“The existing, vacant, abandoned building has been used extensively for fire department emergency training and has no useful life. It is to be demolished to remove that blight from the corridor,” Briggs said.
Also on deck for demolition is the Rachel D. Murrah Civic Center at 1050 West Morse Blvd., which will clear a path for construction of the city’s new library and events center.
There are no such plans for the Progress Point site post-demolition, nor for the City Commission to authorize its sale.
Briggs said that the planning staff is still working on a process for cultivating consensus on development regulations and design standards to accomplish the City’s objectives. Comments from residents and other city stakeholders will help shape the project moving forward.
“The comments that the staff received from property owners, business owners and residents is to maintain the scale and character of Orange Avenue, add to the vitality of the corridor and help provide parking needed by surrounding properties,” Briggs said.
“A mixed-use overlay is one of the techniques to help accomplish [this] and we are considering an overlay district as a means of reaching the goals that the City Commission has.”
Briggs and his team expect to roll out a framework for Commission consideration in a few months.
“The process will then include more stakeholder input and work with elected and appointed officials. The entire process will go well into 2019.”