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West Orange Times & Observer Wednesday, Jul. 18, 2018 2 years ago

Oakland secures $1M loan for art center project

The town of Oakland has secured a 10-year loan for its much-anticipated Art & History Center in the town square.
by: Amy Quesinberry Community Editor

The town of Oakland has made a move forward on its Art & History Center by authorizing a loan of up to $1 million.

Branch Banking and Trust Company approved the loan, which will be used to finance the costs of constructing the 3,000-square-foot facility at the northwest intersection of Tubb Street and the West Orange Trail.

“Any monies that go into this project do not come from ad valorem taxes,” Oakland Mayor Kathy Stark said at the July 10 commission meeting. “A lot of this will come from fundraising.”

Last year, two bids came in close to $1.2 million, much higher than the architect’s estimated $800,000.

Oakland ultimately awarded the bid to Ovation Construction Inc.

The town has budgeted $600,000 and has won a $225,000 grant from the Orange County Arts and Cultural Facilities Department administered by United Arts of Central Florida.

“We’re going to pay that loan off early,” Stark said. “There’s no doubt in my mind.”

The loan agreement comes with a 10-year repayment period at 3.3% interest.

“We can’t keep building houses and not expect to put something in like this,” Stark said. “We will use this place for many, many different things, not just art and history.”



• The Oakland Town Commission approved the second reading and public hearing for Lakeside Church’s special-exception request. The church had asked for permission to build a church campus at 16001 W. Colonial Drive, which lies within the Gateway Corridor Overlay. The commission and church came to an agreement that the church can build on the north end of the nine-acre property but must designate two parcels on Colonial totaling 1.59 acres for commercial development.

“This is out-of-the-box work,” Mayor Kathy Stark said. “Our foremost driver is to keep Oakland looking like Oakland. Economics don’t always come first. (We want) the right things in the right place. This will be a pretty place and will fit in with the fabric of Oakland.”

• The commission reapproved the Oakland Park Recorded Development Agreement, originally approved in December 2016. During the negotiation of that development agreement, several versions were prepared; the version that was signed and recorded in March 2017 had slightly different wording from the one approved at the December meeting. The town and Crescent Communities have agreed that the intent is the same.

Landeavor LLC, a real-estate development company specializing in master-planned residential communities, is buying Oakland Park from Crescent Communities.

“Everything we said and everything we agreed on better happen,” Stark said. “I don’t want one tree we agreed to keep cut down.”

• Pamela Dwyer, principal of Oakland Avenue Charter School, said the school has agreed to be included in the multi-tiered mental health plan provided by Orange County Public Schools. This plan, in compliance with the Marjory Stoneman Douglas School Safety Act, will allow OCPS students access to a mental health professional at their schools.

Amy Quesinberry is the community editor of the West Orange Times & Observer and the Windermere Observer. She was born and raised in Winter Garden, grew up reading the community newspaper and has been employed there as a writer, photographer and editor since 1990....

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