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Saturday, September 18, 2021

Marion County strategic plan highlights ‘focus areas’ across county to attract residential developers

During the next five years, Marion County officials plan to highlight three “economic opportunity focus areas” that they believe will lead to greater growth and more residential developments across the county.

The details are one of the many topics covered in the Marion County Administrative Strategic Plan for 2022-2026. The plan indicates that the county plans to focus on Florida Crossroads Commerce Park, the Northwest 49th St Interchange, and Silver Springs Shores, as well as “infill opportunities in proximity to existing infrastructure and public services” in those areas.

The county says that new development in these three areas has created “employment hubs and opportunity zones” that it hopes to use to attract, among others, residential developers.

In the Florida Crossroads Commerce Park, which is located west of I-75 at Highway 484, the report says that changes to building code has created additional opportunity. In specific, the county says it believes an increase to the “maximum building height in the area” will lead to companies growing “vertically, rather than horizontally” and developing at a quicker pace.

Florida Crossroads Commerce Park
Florida Crossroads Commerce Park

“The ability to build to the increased height will make the area extremely attractive to developers,” reads the plan.

The plan goes on to detail the Northwest 49th Street Interchange, which includes areas adjacent to Highway 27, SW 60th Avenue, and SW 80th Avenue to north of State Road 40. The development of a one million square foot warehouse is already underway in the area. Once open, it will provide in excess of 1,000 jobs.

A second project in the area is under development and will provide 250,000 square feet of space to assist in the medical marijuana industry, with potential for future expansion. The new development is projected the creation of 300 jobs.

A third project is under construction in the area which has the opportunity to add nearly “one million square feet of space and create 500 new jobs,” according to the plan.

According to county records, once the space is filled at the Florida Crossroads Commerce Park, the area “immediately east of I-75 and the proposed NW 49th Street interchange” will be considered for the next commerce park.

The third focus area outlined by the county is Silver Springs Shores, which it hopes will attract developers who are interested in constructing multifamily dwellings and affordable housing.

“The area contains larger areas of land which may allow for multistory residential homes to meet the increase in housing demand,” reads the plan.

For more details and information about the plan’s objectives and initiatives, read the complete Marion County Administrative Plan for 2022-2026.