Ocoee OKs sale, annexation of parcels

The property at 112 S. Bluford Ave., Ocoee, has been sold to Forges Realty Group.

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  • | 12:30 p.m. September 23, 2020
  • West Orange Times & Observer
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The Ocoee City Commission on Tuesday, Sept. 15, made a few decisions regarding the selling and annexing/rezoning of multiple parcels of land.

The commission unanimously approved the sale of a property located at 112 S. Bluford Ave. during the night’s first public hearing.

In August 2016, the city acquired the property, which also included 100 S. Bluford Ave. It consists of two parcels containing seven original lots that form a rectangle of 178 feet along the east side of S. Bluford Avenue and 85 feet along the south side of Magnolia Street. The total land area is 15,000 square feet and cost the city $225,000. 

“Since we purchased the property in 2016, we did pick up a large area of land for undergrounding of electrical services for the Bluford Avenue improvements while it was our property,” City Planner Michael Rumer said. “Where the above-ground is open it does have a significant utilities easement on it, which kind of restricts some of the use of the property. 

“The future owner will beautify the property, and then there is a vision to work with — as we go forward, I’ll show you a plan that we did in-house with our urban design studio,” he said. “For potential properties like this within the city of Ocoee, we’re able to show property owners within our downtown the viability of parcels. What’s nice about this building is, as it currently sits, it is right up on the road.”

The future development of the lot — which currently is the site of an aging commercial storefront building built in 1925 — now will be in the hands of Forges Realty Group. 

Forges originally made an unsolicited offer to purchase the property in late 2018, but the city held off because of a possible purchase of the adjacent properties. Those properties are no longer available. Forges is purchasing the property for its current appraised value, $195,000.

The sale was met by appreciation from the commission — specifically Commissioner Rosemary Wilsen.

“I’m excited to see some changes there,” Wilsen said. “That building is an eyesore.”

“That building has been there a long time,” Mayor Rusty Johnson said.

The second big item of the night came following the sale, as the city unanimously approved the annexation and rezoning for a property located at 213 Bay St.

The .3-acre parcel sits northwest of West Ohio Street, southwest of McKey Street and west of Bay Street and has one existing single-family residence.

“The property is eligible under our code to be annexed in — it’s contiguous with the city limits and the property to the south, east and west is part of the city, with the only property to the north being a part of Orange County,” Zoning Manager Kiel Gajadhar said. “It’s located within our joint-planning agreement area with Orange County, and annexing this property will eliminate or reduce an enclave that we have there.”

The Development Review Committee, Planning and Zoning Committee and city staff unanimously approved of annexing and rezoning the property — which will remain as an “R-1A” (single-family residence).