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spenser1058

Winter Garden/Ocoee/Oakland Projects

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Any wager on when Ocoee will ride the downtown redevelopment bandwagon along with Winter Garden and Oakland? I wonder what it would take to get Ocoee more invested in its downtown.

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There are some differences, including:

• Ocoee didn't have nearly as much of a Downtown to work with. As a kid, I spent time in both. WG really was a version of Mayberry; Ocoee's more like a wide spot in the road;

• Both cities have part-time mayors so the city manager is key; WG has been fortunate to have two incredible managers who both had the vision thing while Ocoee's had a string of uninspiring ones;

• WG had both the Ropers and Chicones, two wealthy citrus families, leading the charge on the private side;

• Ocoee has been torn between fixing the downtown it has and creating a new town center out by Highway 50.

My cousin Rusty is Ocoee's mayor and has really tried to get it moving but it's like herding cats whereas WG has been pretty much unified for about 15 years now as to direction.

I guess "stay tuned" is all I can really say.

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Very informative - thx! 

I also thought the “smallness” of Ocoees downtown could offer an interesting bookend to Winter Garden from the east. Not so much competing with it but rather  an enhancement to the overall west Orange area.

Edited by Ivanhoe
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More on the proposed downtown hotel for WG. I was interested in the idea that there's tension between new construction and preservation downtown - that's the first I've heard of that. (Of course, the person who brought it up is the owner of the one downtown hotel currently operating and may not be enthused about competition.)

Stay tuned...

https://www.orangeobserver.com/article/talks-continue-on-potential-hotel-in-downtown-winter-garden

From WOT/Observer

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This is something quite different: a proposal for 220 townhomes along the Webster (FL 429) north of Franklin Ave/Plant St and just east of the  WOT. 

Development up there, to the extent it has happened at all, has been single-family on larger lots and some retail anticipating development.

Everyone knew growth was coming to this area - it appears to have arrived.

https://www.orangeobserver.com/article/ocoee-townhome-proposal-clears-first-commission-hurdle

From WOT/Observer

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3 minutes ago, Jernigan said:

This makes a lot of sense. There was a time when Dillard St. could have justified being such a wide open stretch but that's no longer the case. Now, it's just an unnecessary vast wasteland.

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City Furniture, a South Florida chain, has opened its first Central Florida showroom-warehouse in Ocoee near the Webster (FL 429.)

It's not small (325,000 sf) and seems to be a reincarnation of the Levitz concept (everybody  sing: "You'll Love It at Levitz!")

Other stores are planned for Millenia and Altamonte.

https://www.orangeobserver.com/article/city-furniture-opens-first-central-florida-location-in-ocoee

From the WOT/Observer

Edited by spenser1058
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On ‎8‎/‎30‎/‎2018 at 9:26 AM, spenser1058 said:

More on the proposed downtown hotel for WG. I was interested in the idea that there's tension between new construction and preservation downtown - that's the first I've heard of that. (Of course, the person who brought it up is the owner of the one downtown hotel currently operating and may not be enthused about competition.)

Stay tuned...

https://www.orangeobserver.com/article/talks-continue-on-potential-hotel-in-downtown-winter-garden

From WOT/Observer

so far, from what I've seen, they've done a pretty good job of integrating new projects with the historic ones, dontcha think?

funny...if there's an historic district, there's brick.  new projects should follow that model to blend in, right?  So, in areas where there is no  brick, there is no impetus to build or face a building with brick.  I get the costs issue, but that just stinks when they pour on the stucco.

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Ok, this isn't actually Winter Garden, Ocoee or Oakland, but it is only about 6 miles up the turnpike in lovely Minneola- in a massive swath of land running from Grassy lake, across the turnpike and nearly to Ferndale. This is a massive development that...

"Upon completion, the Hills of Minneola will bring in up to 4,170 new residences, more than 900,000 square feet of retail or commercial services, 892,500 square feet of office space, 1,470,000 square feet of space for industrial, medical and research, about 520,000 square feet for a new school and other institutional development, a large park, loads of green space and a site for recreational uses still to be determined."

From Spencer's perspective read thousands of new republicans moving into the area.

I'm not in favor of this type of sprawl, but it was bound to happen when they opened the new exchange off the turnpike. 

https://www.dailycommercial.com/news/20190218/massive-hills-of-minneola-development-to-break-ground/1

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My inlaws live there.  The interchange with the Turnpike was developer driven, not volume driven.  It will be interesting.  Initially they planned for residential west of the interchange and commercial east of the interchange.

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4 hours ago, codypet said:

My inlaws live there.  The interchange with the Turnpike was developer driven, not volume driven.  It will be interesting.  Initially they planned for residential west of the interchange and commercial east of the interchange.

I sense adding 18 wheelers to hwy 455 will not make biking Sugarloaf any safer. Shame, really pretty area.

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It looks like apartments are coming to E Plant St at W Crown Point Rd in WG. 

The project has been negotiated down to 250 units with an area for green space. While it still seems a bit large to me , the area is definitely crying for more apartments readily accessible to downtown and the WOT (here’s hoping for an eventual bike lane heading back to Ocoee). Thankfully, I trust City Manager Mike Bollhoefer to do the right thing.

It’s passed first reading so looks like a go.

https://www.orangeobserver.com/article/apartment-project-in-winter-garden-passes-first-reading

From the West Orange Times 

Edited by spenser1058
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On 4/22/2019 at 10:03 AM, spenser1058 said:

It looks like apartments are coming to E Plant St at W Crown Point Rd in WG. 

The project has been negotiated down to 250 units with an area for green space. While it still seems a bit large to me , the area is definitely crying for more apartments readily accessible to downtown and the WOT (here’s hoping for an eventual bike lane heading back to Ocoee). Thankfully, I trust City Manager Mike Bollhoefer to do the right thing.

It’s passed first reading so looks like a go.

https://www.orangeobserver.com/article/apartment-project-in-winter-garden-passes-first-reading

From the West Orange Times 

Quotes from the City manager in the article made me mad, "No, we don’t want too many apartments in Winter Garden,"...  "We don’t believe we should have a lot of multi-family because some communities way overbuild multi-family (developments), which brings down the price.  We’re also comfortable that these are very high-end and high-quality apartment ".

Really saying the quiet part loud, basically they don't want too many low income people living in Winter Garden. NIMBY's like him are why I think planning decisions need to be made on the regional level. Sad because downtown Winter Garden is very nice and should be developed into a dense walkable community for all income levels, not follow in the footsteps of Winter Park as an exclusive city for the wealthy, but c'est la vie.

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9 minutes ago, Naqiy90 said:

Quotes from the City manager in the article made me mad, "No, we don’t want too many apartments in Winter Garden,"...  "We don’t believe we should have a lot of multi-family because some communities way overbuild multi-family (developments), which brings down the price.  We’re also comfortable that these are very high-end and high-quality apartment ".

Really saying the quiet part loud, basically they don't want too many low income people living in Winter Garden. NIMBY's like him are why I think planning decisions need to be made on the regional level. Sad because downtown Winter Garden is very nice and should be developed into a dense walkable community for all income levels, not follow in the footsteps of Winter Park as an exclusive city for the wealthy, but c'est la vie.

Downtown Winter Garden works because they strive very hard to keep a balance. WG has long had more multi family than many of the ‘burbs . It’s also one of the most Democratic of them.

If you exceed that balance, you run into the same problems MetroWest and especially Rosemont have encountered.Did you know Rosemont was once sold as an upscale development? It sure isn’t now and overbuilding multifamily had a lot to do with it.

It’s not all or nothing, it’s a balance and I’d argue Winter Garden has done a better job of it than most.

 

Edited by spenser1058
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Proposed boutique hotel on the site of the former Florida Power office delayed over parking concerns in downtown Winter Garden:

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/orange-county/os-ne-winter-garden-hotel-controversy-20190424-story.html

From the Sentinel 

I’m with Naqiy on this one - the NIMBYs are out in force. Stay tuned while they try to work out a Plan B.

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Well, not to be outdone, here’s a storage facility proposal in the exurbs at Ocoee-Apopka Rd and West Rd.

It appears that since developers can’t keep overbuilding big box retail anymore, these are Plan B. Just like retail which was massively overbuilt in the US compared to any other country, we’re now going to be awash in storage. Tulip Mania, indeed.

https://www.orangeobserver.com/article/commission-considering-amendment-site-plan-for-fountains-west-development

From the West Orange Times

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So I live right by the Oakland Nature Preserve and while walking on the West Orange Trail today I saw this sign for new luxury apartments right across from Nature Preserve and my neighborhood. Quite the project for our little area

DEC47FA3-3597-45C0-8671-897184284753.jpeg

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A lawsuit over an apartment complex subsidized by the government when constructed but now being marketed as luxury residences shows just how much Winter Garden has changed since 1979:

Housing advocates sue over rent hikes, evictions at Winter Garden ‘luxury’ apartments http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/orange-county/os-ne-florida-advocates-sue-usda-over-winter-garden-luxury-apartments-20190531-slxvue36tfab5n7ef43es3q5y4-story.html

From the Sentinel 

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United Wall Systems has purchased a building in Winter Garden:

https://www.orangeobserver.com/article/united-wall-systems-inc-relocates-to-new-winter-garden-office

From West Orange Times Observer 

It’s just the latest theme park related business to set up shop or expand in WG. The city is becoming quite the cluster of activity for folks in the industry. Good to see WG becoming more than just a bedroom community.

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