Development partner seeks to continue using Highland Manor in project

From the City of Apopka

The City of Apopka today closed on a sale of the first two parcels for the new Apopka City Center – a major project that will transform downtown into an attractive mix of stores, restaurants, professional offices and a scenic public park.

The City negotiated the sale of two city-owned properties to development partner Taurus Southern Investments comprising about two acres south of Main Street in Apopka. Both parcels are part of Apopka’s Highland Manor facility. Taurus seeks to continue using Highland Manor as a destination for meetings, weddings, and special events.

Kilsheimer: “Apopka residents have been looking forward to the redevelopment of our downtown business district for more than a decade.”

Under a development agreement approved by the Apopka City Council in July 2016, Taurus will acquire parcels over time to develop the City Center. A timeline for construction of the project is under development.

“Apopka residents have been looking forward to the redevelopment of our downtown business district for more than a decade. Today’s transaction represents concrete progress toward making that happen,” said Apopka Mayor Joe Kilsheimer. “Based on reports from the Taurus team, I am very encouraged by what I’m hearing about the prospects for the kinds of businesses that our City Center will attract.”

The two parcels comprise about two acres south of Main Street in Apopka. Both parcels are part of Apopka’s Highland Manor facility.

Jeff McFadden, managing director for Taurus Southern Investments, said: “We are very excited that we are able to take the first steps toward fulfilling everyone’s desire for a successful and vibrant City Center in Apopka.”

Apopka City Center – on approximately 35 acres centrally located at the interchange of U.S. Highway 441 and State Road 436 – is proposed for 207,000 square feet of restaurants, retail and office space as well as a hotel and homes. Performance guarantees negotiated by the City require that a minimum of 30,000 square feet be dedicated to restaurants that exclude fast food establishments. No more than 20,000 square feet of office space can be constructed until City Center includes a restaurant.

Eleven acres will be dedicated for a community park, pond, and boardwalk. The long-term plan, which phases the project through the next 20 years, includes a possible 180 acres of development.

City Center is a long anticipated improvement in Apopka. The project started more than a decade ago – the city purchased much of the property from 2006 to 2011. The Apopka City Council approved a sales and purchase agreement in February 2016. A development agreement was reached with Taurus last July.

The City of Apopka is working to create a walkable downtown destination with a mix of restaurants, shops, offices and public park space. Other goals are to help diversify future growth in Apopka, to better facilitate centrally located businesses and jobs and to promote economic development in the downtown community redevelopment area.

Similar growth in other parts of Apopka includes a southwest district with the new Florida Hospital Apopka to open in November and a new interchange at State Road 414 and Marden Road, which is expected to begin in July. Professional offices, commercial and residential development also is proposed.

Sections of the new Wekiva Parkway north of U.S. Highway 441 will open in northwest Apopka in June to include a massive highway interchange at Kelly Park Road. The Kelly Park area is proposed for a large-scale, master planned development with hundreds of acres of commercial, office, medical and residential uses.

11 COMMENTS

  1. Uh, anything in the sale contract that the Highland Manor is not to be torn down, even though the Taurus group now wants to use the Highland Manor, as opposed to their original plan of not wanting the home in the beginning?

  2. I went to Bealls Outlet store at the old Walmart shopping center and there was a sign on the door that the store was closing, and I said to myself, oh no, not more store closings. Then I found out that they are moving to the Piedmont shopping plaza that is being renovated where Hobby Lobby is located. I asked the clerk where will the Bealls Outlet be, and will it be next to the bigger Bealls there, and she told me yes, that is where it will be.

  3. Exactly how much was the two parcels sold for? I don’t see the price in the above article. Was the Highland Manor home on one of the two parcels that was closed on today? I am assuming it was. It is getting really hard to follow along with the city center plans. That Highland Manor home has been virtually plunked down everywhere around town. It was going to be moved to Dream Lake, it was going to be plunked down at Station St. It was going to be moved to private property possibly, and it was even going to be moved out on the lobe in the pond at the site of the city center…….yeah, right……I couldn’t believe it when they said it was going out on the lobe in the pond, OMG! It is so wrong to keep the public in the dark like that about an historic icon that Apopka people love very much.

  4. Good news and bad news. Gander Mountain filed for bankruptcy. They are closing a bunch of stores. The good news is none in Florida.

  5. The two parcels sold for approx. $ 300,000 according to an article online from the Orlando Sentinel and yes, the Highland Manor home was sold as a part of it. A total steal for the developer! And now the city doesn’t own the home! While I am not disgusted with the city center to be, I am disgusted that the city allowed this historic home that is very much loved and is beautiful in a pretty setting to be allowed to be sold to a developer and that now, is out of the city’s control. So wrong, so deceitful! So it is going to continue to be used as a wedding venue, special event place, and for meetings. That is good, but the bottom line is, for HOW LONG? The property should have been advertised somewhere else other than locally, and got more bids, and the city should not have made the land that the Highland Manor sits on a part of the sale for development for the city center! The don’t recognize a good thing when they have it!

  6. The city bought all the property for 23 million to the group and they are giving all but a million back to them when everything is done!!! So all the tax payers lose 22 million of out hard earned money

  7. Not not everyone in living in Apopka can paid the cost to eat at Highlaand Monor. It’s a great building but but it does not benefit everyone.

  8. So what will happen to the west side of apopka like 108st these area what plans are for that section of apopka it is like walking distance from the upgrade parts will be

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