Mayor Phil Anderson
Commissioner Marty Sullivan Commissioner Sheila DeCiccio
Commissioner Carolyn Cooper
Commissioner Todd Weaver
City Manager Randy Knight
City Clerk Rene Cranis
Division Director of Office of Management and Budget Peter Moore
1) Call to Order Mayor Anderson called the meeting to order at 3:32 p.m. The agenda was revised to discuss the Post Office first and then the Old Library.
2) Discussion Item(s) b. Post Office Property Mayor Anderson spoke on the importance and value of this property and prior development proposals which resulted in strong support to purchase this property for the expansion of Central Park.
Mr. Knight provided the history of prior discussions and opportunities to purchase the property and the adoption of the resolution supporting the acquisition. He summarized recent discussions with the USPS which included the its rejection of alternate sites due to their preference to have a combined facility for retail and distribution.
Commissioner Cooper pointed out that if the USPS decides to sell it will not give the City right of first refusal and will accept offers from all sources. She said she feels the city should move forward if there is Commission consensus to pursue finding a site for consolidated use.
Commissioner Sullivan asked for clarification on the costs. Mr. Knight said the cost is in the purchase of the land for the new facility and construction of the facility. Mayor Anderson said the cost would be between $10-$12 million.
Commissioner DeCiccio said she feels the cost could increase and she could support the purchase but not at a high cost when there are other priorities and needs. Discussion followed on the value and the cost of the land and funding.
Commissioner Weaver supported purchasing the property and suggested a compromise to have two smaller retail areas and a distribution center.
Mayor Anderson opened the discussion on location of the facility. Suggestions included the area bounded by 17-92 Park Avenue North, Interlachen and Fairbanks, a retail facility closer to or in the CBD, and a distribution facility closer to I-4. Discussion followed and consensus reached to support a retail facility downtown.
Mayor Anderson said he feels that the park should align with Garfield and the northern parcel used for complementary use to the park but not just park land which may require revision to Section 4 of the resolution.
Mr. Knight advised that the city’s broker is looking for land but the difficulty is finding the right opportunity. He asked for the ability to negotiate within commission parameters. After additional discussion, Mayor Anderson summarized the consensus as follows: • Area for consolidated facility within the boundaries of 17-92, Park Avenue North, Lakemont/Interlachen, Orange/Fairbanks. If it is not consolidated, the boundaries could be expanded. • Willingness to encourage a retail branch in CBD. • South parcel will always be park land and the north parcel should be park but with complementary recreational use. • Mayor will work with Mr. Knight to develop timeline with best options. • No pricing parameters were set. Need determine land value parameter
The meeting recessed at 5:19 p.m. and reconvened at 5:25 p.m.
a. Old Library Property & Building Mr. Knight said the building will be available by January and the Commission must decide the ultimate use of the building. He noted the final report of the Task Force and conceptual ideas presented for reuse of the building including The Exchange and said renovations will cost at least $5 million, with immediate repairs needed of the AC and roof.
Mr. Moore provided the history of discussions and meetings of the Task Force that recommended temporarily relocating city functions while City Hall is renovated or moving City Hall functions permanently. He spoke on parking concerns to accommodate use.
Mayor Anderson said the initial question is whether the city should retain the building. If so, then the future use must be determined.
Commissioner Weaver said he feels City Hall should be preserved and the library used temporarily for City Hall. He supported renovating the old Library to create revenue- generating uses and explore The Exchange concept.
Commissioner Cooper opposed selling and expressed interest in The Exchange proposal.She believes a portion of ARP funding could be used for renovations to provide for COVID recovery needs and support.She opposed permanent relocation of City Hall.
Commissioner Sullivan supported retaining ownership and renovating the building and feels multi-functional use, public-private partnership opportunities and dedicated activities to benefit non-profits and arts and culture should be explored.
Mayor Anderson reviewed the renderings of The Exchange concept presented in 2019 showing proposed uses on each floor/roof.
Commissioner DeCiccio said she is in favor of retaining city assets and agreed that the building should be used temporarily while City Hall is being renovated. She expressed her concern about the lack of sufficient parking, added maintenance and cost. She said she feels the Commission should look at its priorities and determine whether this should be sold to potentially fund higher priority projects.
After additional discussion, Mayor Anderson summarized consensus to retain property, use temporarily for city hall (not permanent), and explore the Exchange multi-use concept.
The work session adjourned at 6:27 p.m.
View the original PDF at the City of Winter Park. (https://winterpark.granicus.com/DocumentViewer.php?file=winterpark_64b75241-31b1-4e8e-b8bd-780286d7c3cc.pdf)
Posted to WinterParkSunshine.org on June 17, 2021.