The City of Kissimmee will shut down its Toho Square parking lot Aug. 1 to start construction on a $7 million parking garage, which will be the first phase of a $65 million plan to redevelop two entire city blocks of the downtown lakefront district.
"I honestly didn't think we'd get it done, but where there's a will there's a way," said Craig Holland, the city's development services director.
City Council approved the five-year redevelopment contract last December with St. Petersburg-based Mosaic Development. The overall plan calls for construction of a boutique hotel at the corner of Lakeview and Ruby avenues, along with a mix of shops, restaurants and market-rate housing.
The Toho Square parking garage will feature three levels with parking for 382 vehicles; 38 spaces will be reserved for future residents of the apartment building that will wrap around three sides of the garage. The project also calls for 13 townhouse units to be built along Pleasant Street and both side streets.
Affected property owners are invited to an informational meeting about the project on Tuesday at 6 pm, in City Hall.
Holland said the project also includes rebuilding and streetscaping Pleasant Street and Darlington Avenue as brick streets with wider sidewalks, decorative lighting and landscaping. Burkhardt Construction is the general contractor for the infrastructure streetwork and utilty work.
"One of the reasons we like working with Burkhardt is that they do such a good job of maintaining access for the surrounding businesses that are impacted by the construction," Holland said.
Kissimmee hasn't issued bonds in more than 20 years, but commissioners voted this week to move forward with a $49 million bond issue to finance a host of public projects, including the final phase of Lakefront Park and a downtown parking garage.
The formal groundbreaking is scheduled for Aug. 24.
This is the second of what will be four new parking garages downtown. The Florida Department of Transportation is building a 400-space parking garage to serve the downtown SunRail station, Lakefront Park and the Kissimmee Civic Center.
"At the end of the year, that SunRail garage will be open," Holland said.
The Mosaic project also calls for two parking structures along Lakeview Drive to serve the hotel, retail and residential uses.