OCOEE Soon enough the “front door” to the city of Ocoee will boast a Tropical Smoothie and Burger Craft, along with various other restaurants and shops.
Over the next five years the city is set to undergo more than $40 million worth of capital projects to spur revitalization, and the new Green Village shopping complex is one of them. It will be located across from the West Oaks Mall at the intersection of Clarke Road and State Road 50. Developer Green Tree Development Group officially broke ground on the six-acre property Wednesday, Jan. 11.
Upon completion Green Village will comprise more than 100,000 square feet of commercial space, with restaurants, retailers and plaza shops among them.
"We’re very excited because with everything that’s happening right now with the West Oaks Mall, Green Village will dovetail with the city’s other major expansion and downtown revitalization plans,” said Tim Green, CEO of Green Tree Development. “The city has 18 capital projects planned that will create or expand public spaces along the western shore of Starke Lake and provide infrastructure to the downtown area. We’re looking to contribute to the overall plan. We’re definitely excited about getting some high-end restaurants here and so forth."
So far, confirmed tenants include Burger Craft, Tropical Smoothie Cafe and Mattress One, all to be built on the Clarke Road side of the complex. Two sit-down restaurants will sit at the plaza entrance, with a cascading waterfall fountain flowing nearby.
Ocoee Mayor Rusty Johnson said that having new stores in the area will be beneficial to residents, not only due to expanded shopping options but also with picking up the tax base and thus helping to keep citizens’ taxes down. In the city’s first meeting with Green Tree, both Green and Johnson expressed that each party wanted to work together to understand the city’s needs and masterplan.
“I think they’re (residents) looking forward to having businesses and restaurants coming without having to go to another town — there’s nothing wrong with going to other towns, but it’s kind of nice to have your own place to go in town,” Johnson said. “It’s a pleasure to have Tim and his group be involved with their energy and what they want to do. The first thing they said was, ‘We want to work with the city and do what the city wants.’”
In fact, one of the confirmed restaurants, Burger Craft, was founded by Winter Garden resident Suzanne Bonham. It is a fast-casual burger concept that uses only 100% grass-fed beef in either a bun or bowl, and its new Green Village location will be the first with a drive-through option.
"Now is the time and everyone really is excited about having sit-down restaurants and having a place where they can shop and the community can come together to enjoy friends and family,” Green said. “We have additional projects coming up in Ocoee, some to be released soon. Green Village Shoppes is the front door of Ocoee, this is where it starts at. We are committed to help bring the vision alive.”
More tenants are to be named as development and construction come along. Currently Green Tree is working on clearing the land, which could be done by the end of February. Infrastructure and foundation will come next, with a goal of beginning building construction by this summer.
“This is our heart, the city of Ocoee. Things are starting to happen here, things are coming back online and we’re starting to have some development,” Johnson said at the groundbreaking. “These outlying areas are things we’ve got to do to bring in economic development for our town and keep things moving. We’re looking forward to it.”
Contact Danielle Hendrix at [email protected].