Flea World town house plans critiqued by Seminole planners

A dozen structures are planned to go up and more than two dozen come down in Sanford, as the former site of Flea World takes its initial development steps.

But first, Park Square Homes, the first developer to become involved in the 118-acre site redevelopment, must complete to Seminole County planners' satisfaction a final engineering plan.


Park Square received a litany of comments on Wednesday from county planners involving environmental service, public works, engineering and public safety issues that were not yet resolved for its 8.3-acre town house project.

Flea World, which was a colorful landmark in Sanford, closed at the end of August 2015 to make way for a massive mixed-use development.
Flea World, which was a colorful landmark in Sanford, closed at the end of August 2015 to make way for a massive mixed-use development. (Paul Partyka)

While not derailing the project, the matters must be addressed before Park Square can begin building. Representatives for Park Square did not respond to requests for comment on Wednesday.

Park Square Homes expects to put 66 town homes in 12 buildings at the Flea World site, which is at the intersection of Ronald Reagan Boulevard and U.S. 17-92.

For decades it served as a Central Florida landmark and attraction, offering everything from carnival rides to caskets.The property has now been renamed Reagan Center, in part because of its proximity to Ronald Reagan Boulevard.

Park Square Homes bought an eight-acre parcel from owner and area philanthropist Syd Levy for $1.2 million in September, after Flea World closed Aug. 31. It's the first of what is planned to be a grand development venture for the site.

Park Square Homes expects the cost of the project to be in the $3 million area, chief executive Suresh Gupta told GrowthSpotter in late September. Gupta estimated it would take a year from the start date to complete the project.

Park Square also wants to expand its presence in the Flea World area by purchasing 10 contiguous acres and building 60 to 75 more town homes.

Property owner Levy and his close associates continue to have big plans for the Sanford land.

The colorful array of buildings and stalls that made up Flea World, as well as its many acres of parking lots, should be coming out in a month or so, with a demolition permit having been filed with Seminole County, said Paul Partyka of the Partyka Group, which is brokering the land for Levy.

Levy's group, which includes Partyka, has also submitted plans for a spine road that will run through the property and connect it between U.S. Highway 17-92 and Ronald Reagan Boulevard.

As for a seeming lack of any large building commitment at the site seven months after it was closed, Partyka said developers first want to see the land cleared. He also cited complexities because of the land's size.

"This is like a dozen projects at one time," he said. "But it will all move ahead."

Reagan Center will ultimately be a mixed-use project that could involve $300 million of construction, and encompass hotel, retail, office and residential, Partyka said.

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