Perkins+Will principal Stephen Coulston believes the master plan and phasing schedule for Osceola County's NeoCity was designed to build value over time, so it's important for the county to reserve key parcels for landmark buildings and tenants.
Coulston presented the master plan to County Commissioners on Monday while Chairman Brandon Arrington and County Manager Don Fisher were prepping to unveil it at SEMICON West.
"I’m sure it’s a big part of the story they’re telling in San Francisco right now," he told GrowthSpotter on Monday. "It’s kind of a homerun for Osceola County."
The master plan was developed over the last 18 months to create a clearly defined set of design criteria, economic development strategies and governing protocols for the nearly 500-acre technology district. One of the key strategies throughout the planning process was finding ways to utilize the man-made lake that will serve as a regional stormwater facility.
"We’ve identified major gateways and vistas across the water," he said. We've identified locations for signature buildings that could showcase your site in a special way."
Coulston said members of the planning team took everything they learned from seeing how Austin, Texas transitioned over the last 25 years from a semiconductor-focused economy to one that's more software-driven. Those lessons were incorporated into the NeoCity plan to build in flexibility for either scenario.
"The end game here is not to always be about the equipment," he said.
The master plan projects a 50-year buildout with 10 million square feet of office, research, commercial and residential uses. At completion, Perkins+Will estimates the district would generate up to $831 million dollars per year in tax revenue to the county.
County officials are in the process of selecting an architect and construction firm for the first multi-tenant office building at NeoCity.
The highest, most valuable real estate will be along the waterfront. But the Perkins+Will plan shows that area developing last. Coulston said that was intentional.
"With developers I’ve worked with over time, we advise them to save the most desirable real estate to when it’s most valuable to maximize your ROI," he said. "The value of this asset is going to grow over time. We want to be able to keep those prime areas opportune so when the next Facebook or Google decides they want to build their global headquarters on a waterfront site at NeoCity, the land is still there."