Osceola hires Perkins+Will to design NeoCity entrance and streetscape

Osceola County Commissioners were so impressed with the design sketches from Perkins+Will in the NeoCity master plan they've hired the firm to design main entrances and streetscape for the tech campus.

The Austin-based firm presented the Master Plan (MP) for the 500-acre tech campus, including ideas for signage and branding, to commissioners in July. 

Commissioners amended the P+W contract on Monday, adding a new scope of services to design the entrances at NeoCity Way, which leads to the Florida Advanced Manufacturing Research Center, and at Denn John Lane, across from Valencia College Osceola Campus. Those are two of the five main gateways into the district.

The plan noted that Denn John Lane has the greatest potential to be a grand public entrance to the district, complete with public art, decorative lighting and a distinctive sign to spur commercial development in NeoCity and on privately owned land that fronts E192. 

The NeoCity Way entrance (across from Bill Beck Boulevard) is envisioned by the MP as a public entrance, but with a focus on employees and visitors to specific facilities. 

P+W advised the county to incorporate the NeoCity logo and branding throughout the district. So the contract scope includes designs for street signs, pedestrian and wayfinding signs, digital signs, landscaping, lighting and even decorative bike racks using the logo and brightly colored palette.

P+W will subcontract with GAI Consultants as the local partner to provide on-site construction management of the project. GAI also will select plant materials for the landscape plan and other "unique materials" for the hardscape.

Commissioners also voted unanimously to start contract negotiations with SchenkelShultz for the design of the first 100,000-square-foot office building at NeoCity. SchenkelShultz beat out eight other architecture firms for the coveted contract.

Partner David Torbert said as long as the county approves its initial design concept, they could be ready to start construction in eight weeks and could have the building finished by Summer 2018. The firm provided three options based on the county budget.

The Class A building design features an entire wall of windows featuring the BRIDG logo and the highest level of interior finishes. The design would be comparable to the newest, highest quality office buildings available on the market.

The $20 million budget includes interior buildout for the first 50,000 square feet at a total cost of $233 per square foot. It would command the highest rent and attract high-quality tenants for the remaining space in the building, Torbert said.

County Manager Don Fisher has said the county was looking for a Class B+ building, with a less expensive shell and high-quality, Class A-type interior finishes. The SchenkelShultz class B+ design would cost about $15 million.

Fisher said the design selection and project budget would be finalized during contract negotiations.

Skanska USA won the Construction Manager At Risk contract for the office building. 

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