The Town of Oakland was incorporated in 1887 and currently has 700 households, which has doubled over the last four years.
• The majority of existing business sites are office related and located along Oakland Avenue and Tubb Street
• The Industrial Park has two complete offices and two warehouses
• The town will be involved in the relocation of utility lines in conjunction with the State Road 50 widening and the Turnpike expansion projects
• The town’s Charter School received an “A” grade this year
• Oakland has received state designation as part of the Green Mountain Scenic Byway
• Community funding will soon provide for an Educational Center at the Oakland Nature Preserve
“The Business of Creating Tomorrow”
The City of Ocoee combines small-town charm with the flair of modern, high-end development. Ocoee is strategically located at the heart of all three of central Florida’s major expressways (408 East/West Expressway, 429 Western Beltway, Florida Turnpike), which provides a stable platform for future opportunities. Its proximity to destinations, such as downtown Orlando, Orlando International Airport and theme parks, provides never-ending value in today’s marketplace.
Over the past decade, thousands of people have made Ocoee their home, making it the third-largest city in Orange County. The city’s population continues to grow, enhancing the need for keeping pace with today’s business environment. To meet the demands of the market, the city is currently changing its business processes to provide faster customer service. Some examples include reduction in development review times, dedicated customer meeting days and a future computer system that will allow all planning and development customers the option of doing business online for applications and permits. The new goal of the development services departments (planning, engineering and building) is to exceed customers’ expectations while creating a built environment that is sustainable and provides a high quality of life for all citizens.
The city is currently in progress with several large planning studies that are designed to create more flexible standards for its land development regulations that will collectively implement a vision of renewal of the types of places that are important to a quality community:
• Pedestrian-oriented “main street” designs
• Parks interconnected with greenways
• Quality schools
• Target industry uses in major employment areas
Place-making is a central theme in the community. Several opportunities exist as the city continues to grow and mature. Redevelopment areas within the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) and the “historic downtown” area will be the focus of the city’s future efforts to create a friendly, high-quality development environment.
Current Opportunities in Retail
• Fountains West – 120,000 square feet of retail space including a Publix Supermarket with five outparcel lots
• Belmere PD – 42,960 square feet of retail space including a CVS Pharmacy and an 85-unit assisted living facility
• Shoppes of West Oaks – 54,878 square feet of retail space with three outparcels
• Hampton Inn – 101-room hotel totaling 61,489 square feet
• West Colonial Parcel (a.k.a. Walia Property) – Two, 80-100-room hotels and a restaurant
• West Oaks Mall – Regional Mall serving West Orange County and surrounding area
• F/X Scenery & Display – 248,000 square feet including 6,000 square feet of office space, 70,000 square feet of manufacturing space and 172,000 square feet of warehouse space
• Freeman Commerce Park – 153,320 square feet of office/warehouse space
• Ocoee Business Park – 350,000 square feet of Class A flex space
• West End Professional Park – 230,000 square feet of light industrial space
Professional and Medical Office
• Lake Butler Professional Campus – 165,772 total square feet including professional and medical offices, retail and restaurant space
• Health Central Medical Office Building – 80,000 square feet of medical office space
• Fountains at Highland Park – 126,700 total square feet including 42,500 square feet of medical office space, 65,700 square feet of professional office space, 5,700 square feet of restaurant/retail space and 12,800 square feet of day care space
• Eagle Creek of Ocoee – 245 total units mixed between single-family detached and town homes in a neo-traditional setting
• Arden Park – 925 total units mixed between single-family detached and town home units
More than $5 million in roadway improvements including:
• Bluford Avenue roadway widening from Silver Star Road to McKey Street
• Bluford Avenue roadway widening from Maine Street to SR 50
• Maguire Road roadway widening from Mercantile Court to Story Road
Future lifestyle centers currently in review process:
• Ocoee Main Street Village – 300,000-square-foot, mixed-use facility including retail, office and residential space
• Cityplace at Maguire – A mixed-use center including a bank, office, restaurant, hotel and parking garage
• NeighborhoodScout issued a special report identifying Florida’s 10 best towns for families and children. Windermere was selected as the No. 1 town for families with children.
• Windermere residents have adopted a 20-year vision plan for the town. The first steps in that plan have already been completed to improve the infrastructure and streetscape in the downtown area.
• The overlay district adopted for the town center provides for future planning in the area by controlling the uses and providing good design guidelines for any future development or redevelopment.
• The town’s recent downtown improvements of $2.5 million consisted of roundabouts, town green, bricked streets, extensive landscaping, pedestrian sidewalks and underground utilities.
• Windermere is providing the ambiance, streetscape and a quaint downtown area for not only its residents but the immediate surrounding area.
• Windermere is surrounded by sand bottom lakes. Lake Butler (the largest) is on the west, Lake Down on the east and Lake Bessie on the southeast. By means of a system of canals, Butler, Down and six other lakes are connected to form what is known as the Butler Chain.
Winter Garden is a greenhouse for entrepreneurial activity—it is a place where good things grow. The city offers all the right ingredients for businesses: a diversity of housing options with a healthy mix of old and new, great schools, one of the lowest millage rates in Orange County, a thriving business community, a historic downtown, a myriad of recreational opportunities, great shopping and more.
Development and redevelopment opportunities are available in the historic downtown, near the 429 Western Beltway and on West State Road 50, including green sites for new development.
Downtown Winter Garden has become a destination in and of itself with award-winning restaurants. It is a unique place where history and the present intersect to create a warm and comfortable environment that is home to many small businesses and entrepreneurs.
The City of Winter Garden has completed a strategic planning process that included extensive community input. The goal for the city moving forward is to encourage a sustainable thriving economy that maintains a high level of service with low taxes and jobs for people with different skills.
Capital projects currently underway in Winter Garden:
The section of West State Road 50 from the State Road 429 interchange to Avalon Road (CR 545) is currently undergoing a major upgrade from four to six lanes including utility relocation, new traffic signals and street lights, new medians, intersection streetscape and landscape enhancements. The West State Road 50 overlay district has been recently revised based on input from business owners and citizens addressing landscaping, site amenities, signs, lighting, as well as architecture standards for future development and redevelopment.
The new Downtown Pavilion will be a permanent home for the farmers’ Market and community events. Design is complete and construction is scheduled to begin in August 2010 for completion in spring 2011. This will soon become the public gathering place for Downtown Winter Garden.
More information on the city’s economic development programs is available at www.wintergarden-fl.gov. The city also has a website designed specifically for economic development purposes. This tool answers the main questions that businesses have when they are involved in the site selection process. Go to www.WinterGardenFLProspector.com to find available space and land, as well as demographic data for the area.
Added benefits for companies include small business assistance, economic development investment programs, an expedited permitting process and dedicated staff for economic development projects.
Winter Garden is a city where good things grow.