Oviedo Mall housing project moves to public hearing – Oviedo Community News (2024)

The planned revitalization of the Oviedo Mall has taken another step toward becoming a reality. In its Nov. 6 meeting, Oviedo’s City Council voted unanimously to hold a Dec. 4 public hearing at City Hall at 6:30 p.m. about the proposed Oasis at Oviedo Marketplace, a planned community that would utilize the former Macy’s department store property.

The development, originally slated for 425 multi-family dwelling units, a 124-room hotel and retail space, will consist of just 360 multi-family units, with no hotel or additional retail space.

Oviedo Mall housing project moves to public hearing – Oviedo Community News (1)

The plan now calls for the 360 units to be built among seven buildings with a pool and park in a gated community, which left no space for the hotel or retail, said Teresa Correa, Oviedo’s development services director.

“One thing is what you can do with the land. The other thing is what you do with the land,” she said. “They’re going to use the retail space of the mall as the mixed component, the commercial component.”

In line with the city’s comprehensive plan, the Oasis at Oviedo Marketplace developer plans to include two electric vehicle charging stations, one rideshare parking space and one bicycle public work stand.

The applicant, Picerne Real Estate Group, develops, owns and manages luxury apartment projects throughout the United States.

“This project is a $100 million project, so it adds to your tax base, and we are pleased to be able to go forward and develop the project,” said attorney Hal Kantor of the Lowndes Law Firm in Orlando, and a representative of the developer.

Housing affordability has been atop the minds of many in Oviedo, leading to questions of how adding another luxury apartment complex could affect rent in the area.

But, with the recent and future influx of units, there is optimism about costs among city officials.

“I do think having some of these apartment complexes come online has stabilized the rent prices a bit,” Councilmember Natalie Teuchert said. “We’ve seen a slowdown in how much rents are increasing this year versus last year, where there was a big jump. And I think some of that is from having a little more housing on the market.”

Teuchert said she experienced this personally, as her grandparents live in the Park Place Apartments in Oviedo on the Park. They were expecting an increase of $400 per month, while living on a fixed income.

“Thankfully they worked with them,” she said. “My grandmother was really worried for the next year, but it didn’t jump [in price] as much [as expected]. And I do think part of that is there’s more options than just Oviedo on the Park.”

Oviedo Mall housing project moves to public hearing – Oviedo Community News (2)

Oasis at Oviedo Marketplace is not the only development being planned for the Oviedo Mall location. A separate project in the works would add 328 multi-family units along the northwest side of the mall property — currently empty fields.

The potential added units have caused concerns about traffic for nearby residents, though Correa said it should not be an issue.

“That area, first of all, has completely idle capacity; you can see that because that was planned for a mall that is not functioning at its full potential,” she said.

The Oasis units would replace the 180,000 square feet of the former department store, which, Correa said, would have led to more traffic than apartments do.

“When the mall was built, the mall created all the infrastructure around it,” she said. “It created Oviedo Mall Boulevard, the bridge over State Road 417. This was to mitigate the impact of the mall, so now they don’t need to do any traffic study, because they already have mitigated the impact of much-higher intensity.

“It’s more of a perception of an issue, or the fear that it will become an issue, but there is plenty of capacity there to absorb what is being proposed,” she said.

Another concern is where children will go to school. While the school impact study done for the development said that there is capacity in the Concurrency Service Areas — the geographic boundaries of schools — for elementary, middle and high school students, there may not be available capacity for elementary students to go to the nearest zoned school, which could mean a further drive for parents.

“The school system is a different entity than [City Council], so we don’t control where students go,” Teuchert said. “It is always concerning if that’s a possibility. We can’t vote based on if there’s capacity at schools or not. We just have to make sure the local school board has approved the development and says they can sufficiently have education available to these students.

“It might not be the closest elementary school, but it’s within the vicinity,” she said.

Seminole County Public Schools Facilities Planner Jordan Smith said in February that SCPS’ goal is not to have a student on a bus for more than 50 minutes.

“We do everything in our power to make sure that the students can attend and go to school,” he said.

Would you consider supporting Oviedo Community News? Greater Oviedo and Winter Springs was a news desert before we launched in 2021. Since then we have covered more than 650 hours of local government meetings so you can understand important decisions being made about your community, including how it grows and develops.

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With gratitude,Megan Stokes, OCN editor-in-chief

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Oviedo Mall housing project moves to public hearing – Oviedo Community News (2024)
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