Osceola signs off on new concept plan for Tavistock's Sunbridge project

When Tavistock Development Company agreed back in April to relocate the utility plants for its massive Sunbridge community in Osceola County, that set the planning and construction schedule back at least a year.

It was one of the key reasons the developer of the 19,000-acre master-planned community had to revise the Conceptual Master Plan (CP) that county officials had approved in 2017. The new CP also reflects the current alignment of the proposed Osceola Parkway Extension (OPE) toll road, which would be built by the Central Florida Expressway Authority.

The OPE alignment, which bisects the environmentally sensitive Split Oak Forest, forced Tavistock to make other tweaks to the plan, consulting planner Richard Levey told GrowthSpotter. The planned interchange would reduce the amount of net developable land in Neighborhoods A and B (along Cyrils Drive) from 67 acres to just 16 acres.

Consequently, the developer reduced the number of residential units in those neighborhoods by 82 percent and eliminated the commercial and office uses that were in the earlier CP. 

Tavistock also added back a "Special Purpose District" north of the toll road that had been a part of the county's original Northeast District plan. That district could include a mix of industrial, commercial, office and civic uses.

If CFX keeps the alignment that impacts Split Oak, Tavistock has agreed to eliminate the special purpose district and make that area a nature preserve. If CFX changes the alignment to a preferred route that avoids Split Oak, the developer would keep the plan as it.

"The ultimate decision of CFX may require another change to the plan," Levey said.

He explained that Tavistock couldn't afford to wait for CFX to complete its Project Design & Environmental Study for the toll road, because that would have delayed construction on the first major community within Sunbridge. The Del Webb retirement community will be underway next year with model construction slated for the third quarter.

"We're getting close to the point where we need to enter into a developers agreement with the county for improvements to Cyrils Drive, and we don't want to delay the approvals for Del Webb," Levey said.

As master developer, Tavistock would be required to widen Cyrils to four lanes and improve the intersection with Narcoossee Road.  

The updated CP, which was approved Wednesday by Osceola's Development Review Committee, also relocated a proposed K-8 school site in Neighborhood D to make it more central and adjacent to the canal. A bridge over the canal links the school site to Neighborhood C. 

Another change is the "marina basin" just south of Cyrils. Tavistock introduced the plan for a 42-acre man-made lake with its own entertainment district and marina in the first CP. 

"We did expand the marina basin to make it a little bit bigger amenity for the community," Levey said. "We’re going through permitting now to get approvals for a canal that will link the marina to the three lakes to the south."

As for Tavistock's plans for 2019, Levey said construction would start on the first neighborhoods north of Cyrils and on major infrastructure, while planning and design work will continue.

"We will be designing other neighborhoods and setting the stage for the employment center," Levey said. "In 2020 is really when we’re going to see vertical activity."

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at lkinsler@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 420-6261, or tweet me at @LKinslerOGrowth. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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