Four Corners Bus Tour 2019

Four Corners Bus Tour 2019

The Four Corners Area Council held their biennial bus tour of the Four Corners region this past August 21st.  The morning began at Island Grove Wine Company at Formosa Gardens with a light breakfast before attendees boarded the bus. The tour was attended by people with businesses or business interests anywhere within the Four Corners regions of Lake, Orange, Osceola, or Polk County.

Here are some updates from the Central Florida Expressway Authority and Lake, Orange, Osceola, and Polk planners and commissioners that pertain to the Four Corners area of their respective counties.

Central Florida Expressway Authority

The Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX) is an independent agency of the state responsible for the maintenance and operations of 118 center-lined miles of regional limited-access toll roads connecting five counties in Central Florida.  Emily Brown, Manager of Public Affairs represented the Central Florida Expressway Authority.

  • The Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX) is an independent agency of the state responsible for the maintenance and operations of 118 center-lined miles of regional limited-access toll roads connecting five counties in Central Florida
  • Osceola Parkway and Poinciana Parkway were added to the ePass system last year.  Later this fall there will be a build/no-build vote on the Poinciana Parkway extension that will run parallel to the Osceola Polk county lines up to County Road 532 with an intersection at 1792.  CFX is working with Osceola County to discuss widening 532 all the way to Old Lake Wilson road.  They are also working with Polk County. 
  • Part of the Poinciana Parkway extension project includes widening 532 to 4 lanes to relieve congestion where it intersects with I-4 with the ultimate goal of connecting it to I-4 in the future.
  • Beyond the Ultimate I-4 Project in this area will require cooperation among the counties, as well as the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Districts 1 and 5 to get people to move through the Four Corners area efficiently and effectively.  CFX is already working with them all.
  • CFX has proposed to their board a limited-access direct connected between 429 and US-27A.

Osceola

In Osceola County, the West 192 Development Authority oversees programs and projects related to planning, coordinating, implementing, and managing the redevelopment and revitalization of 17 miles of US Highway 192, which is Osceola County’s primary tourism corridor, and which partly lies within the Four Corners. Osceola County was represented by West 192 Development Authority Director Christina Morris and District 1 Commissioner Peggy Choudhry.

  • K. Hovnanian Homes at Four Seasons, part of the Mystic Dunes DRI (Development of Regional Impact) is a 55+ active living community with plans for 600 single-family homes.
  • Sinclair Apartments is a 320-acre unit near Orlando Tree Trek Adventure located at Old Lake Wilson Road & Sinclair.  A large distribution center also on the books for the area.
  • Encore at Reunion has an expansion slated for mixed use commercial and office.
  • An Osceola County Fire Station is slated for the Reunion area.  As part of this addition, the County has invested in two more fire trucks and new equipment for the area.
  • Orlando Health is building a stand-alone ER on the Osceola Side of Osceola-Polk Line Road/CR 532 close to I-4.
  • The West 192 Development Authority is broken into 8 segments.  The Four Corners area is segment 1.

Polk

Half of Polk County’s 700,000-strong population lives in this northeast part of the County, but the area has half of the lane miles of the rest of the county.  John Bohde, Land Development Director, and District 4 County Commissioner Dr. Martha Santiago joined the tour as representatives from Polk County.

  • Near Legacy Callawalk apartments, a road called Heritage Pass has been added to connect with Osceola-Polk Line Road/CR 532.  This road has been on the books since the 1990s.  Heritage Pass is a county-maintained road that connects all the way from 532 to Ronald Reagan Parkway.
  • On Osceola-Polk Line Road/CR 532 close to I-4, plans are in place for storage facilities and multi-family homes.
  • Merrill Gardens at ChampionsGate sits just past I-4 on CR 532, and another multi-family project, The Preserve at ChampionsGate, is going in behind it.  That project is already leasing.
  • Further down 532/Osceola-Polk Line Road/ChampionsGate Blvd. is the Festival development of sold townhomes that will have four phases in total.  Ultimately the plan is to link 532 all the way to Dunson Road to the west. Dunson road runs into Highway 27, so that will create a link between 532 and 27.
  • Pine Tree Trail is a newer road that serves the Solterra Resort development.  Solterra used to be called Oakmont.  Oakmont’s single-phase and golf course were developed in the 1990s.  Now, its development is continuing as Solterra.
  • Polk County also stepped in to extended Ernie Caldwell Blvd. to Pine Tree Trail.  Standard Sand is proposing 400 units on Pine Tree Trail near Ernie Caldwell as part of the Ridgewood Lakes development.  Polk County is also in the midst or running utilities down the expanded Ernie Caldwell Blvd.
  • The developers of the Crystal Lagoon project in Pasco County want to create a similar development in this part of Polk County. The lagoon will be built first.
  • At Posner a new transit stop has been added as well as some new retail locations.  The Polk County Board of County Commissioners is fully funding a transit route in this area in the next fiscal year.  Posner is a DRI that was once the Circus World DRI and later became Boardwalk and Baseball.  It has now transitioned to the Posner DRI.  There are two multi family projects in this area that are currently going through the permit process.
  • The county plans a flyover of Grandview Parkway over I-4 into the area around Dunson Road so that I-4 and 27 can be avoided when traveling between Posner and the ChampionsGate area.
  • The interchange at 27 and I-4 will be completely redone as part of the I-4 ultimate and beyond project.  This will include the addition of frontage roads on Highway 27.

Lake

Lake County is the smallest geographically and population-wise of the counties that make up the Four Corners.  It is comprised of 14 municipalities and is known for its natural Florida landscapes.  About 18,000 people live in the Lake County portion of the Four Corners, and if the region were to be compared with the other 14 municipalities in the county it would be the 5th or 6th largest and have the youngest median age.  District 1 Commissioner Timothy Sullivan and Elevate Lake Executive Director Brandon Matulka represented Lake County.

  • As you cross the bridge on Highway 27 from Polk County into Lake, South Lake Hospital’s Joe H. & Loretta Scott Health Pavilion becomes visible. This emergency room was finished in summer 2018 after Summer Bay by Exploria donated the property to them.  Nearby land is zoned to be developed into medical office, commercial, and retail space.  A dialysis center, primary care facility, and 100,000 square feet medical building are on the books.
  • Pine Crest Academy Charter School has opened at the location of a former grocery store and a second vacant property is now a CF Fitness. 
  • Just north of Sawgrass Bay Blvd. is a new facility called Jet Surf Orlando.  Jet Surf is a mixture between surfing, wakeboarding, and jet skiing.  They have an academy and host events. 
  • Cagan Crossings is now home to Orlando Cat Café.
  • Sawgrass Bay Blvd. is home to the new Seranoa development and will eventually extend to Orange County and provide a connection to the Western Way exit onto the 429.  The development itself will come between 100 and 200 feet of the Orange County Line.
  • The Seranoa development is 1000-acre development with 16,000 residential units, 800 multi-family units, 350,000 square feet of commercial and office development, and 175,000 square feet of civic use zoned for a future school or something similar.  The Palms at Seranoa will be a 55+ community.
  • Seranoa is the southernmost point of the Wellness Way urban service area.  Wellness Way is an area of Lake County that is 15,500 acres between Highway 27 and the Lake-Orange County Line up to Clermont to the north.  Businesses in Wellness Way must be able to develop 1000 acres at a time and must address issues including water conservation, design standards, technology infrastructure, and green space during the early planning stages.  Wellness Way also caps the number of residential units at 16,000.  It is designed as a job-creation space by setting aside area for quality commercial development in the future. There are three connections planned to connect this area to other parts of Lake County and Central Florida.
  • Cagan Crossings on US 27 includes Cagan Crossings Library.  There are current plans to complete the second floor with meeting space and classrooms.  It includes about 1500 apartments.
  • The western side of US 27 in Lake County is primarily green swamp and will be conserved.
  • Cagan Crossings is currently clearing a 150-unit 55+ active adult community.

Orange

Much of Orange County’s land along and around Highway 192 in the Four Corners region is either wetlands or undeveloped.  Orange County plans to develop the undeveloped portions within the next year.  Steven Thorpe with the planning division represented Orange County.

  • Off Avalon Road, past Harzog Road, is the Horizon West area of Orange County.  It is not considered part of the Four Corners, but does impact the Four Corners.
  • A new development between Harzog Road and the Western Way extension has roughly 10,000 units and 23,000 square feet of commercial space potentially coming soon, though it won’t be visible for a while.

Following the tour, attendees gathered for lunch at Island Grove Wine Company at Formosa Gardens and were treated to an update on the Four Corners Area Council’s Four Corners, One Vision initiative by GAI consultant Tom Kohler.  For more information on Phase II of the Four Corners, One Vision project, click here.

In addition to our speakers and county representatives, the 4CAC is indebted to Duke Energy for sponsoring the Bus Tour this year, as well as Bahama Bay Resort for sponsoring the lunch, Universal Engineering Sciences for sponsoring breakfast, and supporting sponsorship from Four Corners ER and CenterState Bank.  Continued support for this event is also appreciated from Pegasus Bus and Island Grove Wine Company at Formosa Gardens.