For months it’s been debated in social media, polled on news sites and discussed in City Council meetings – what should be done with the Highland Manor?
“… I’m concerned with the issue of the house (Highland Manor),” said Apopka City Commissioner Doug Bankson at the July 6th City Council meeting. “I don’t know where that stands. I don’t know if they’re going to move it. I don’t want to be cornered and make a snap decision and suddenly realize it’s over.”
No need to worry any longer. There will be no snap decisions as it applies to the historic site. The handwriting is on the wall.
Jeff Mc Fadden, the Managing Director for Taurus Southern Investments, spoke in almost certain language about the Manor’s fate at a July 13th workshop.
“I just don’t believe there is a way to keep the Highland Manor in its current site. It just sprawls and it takes up too much land.”
At the July 6th meeting, Commissioner Kyle Becker made a prophetic statement, and a request of City Administrator Glenn Irby.
“… We have to assume the Manor is going to be moved,” said Becker. “I would like to see a very high level rough estimate of how we can move it. We have to know that.”
“I can arrange to get some pricing,” Irby said.
Later that week, Irby secured estimates not only for the move, but a more comprehensive budget of costs associated with moving the Manor from its current location, to a prospective new home where the Connelly house currently sits at Park Avenue on Dream Lake. According to Irby, the Connelly house is not in good condition and does not meet ADA requirements for use by the public and would be cost prohibitive to retrofit those needs.
The itemized estimate to move the Manor and prepare/clear the sites is:
- New Foundation: $35,000-$80,000
- Electrical: $15,000-$80,00
- Water/Sewer Connections: Minimal
- HVAC: $50,000-$75,000
- Restrooms (2): $128,000
- Demolish and Dispose of the Connelly property: $10,000-$15,000
- Demolish and dispose of the addition on the Highland Manor property: $10,000-$15,000
- Move Highland Manor to Connelly property $100,000-$150,000
- Build a 2,000 square foot addition onto the house once moved and include an elevator $500,000
- Storage and protection of materials inside the Highland Manor $15,000
All totaled = $863,000 to $1,058,000
The City Council is scheduled to vote on the City Center Development Agreement at the July 20th meeting.