The DeLand City Commission has approved two developments near the southeast city limits to complete a project initially started 30 years ago to attract visitors and locals to the intersection of DeLand, Deltona and Orange City. While the project, known as the Southwest Activity Center, officially disbanded in the 2000s, DeLand approved plans to build rental housing and commercial developments in the piece of land Volusia County donated to the city.
DeLand Mayor Bob Apgar, who is nearing the end of his final term as DeLand Mayor, said it was exciting to see progress in an area the city has wanted to develop for so long.
“From a personal point of view, I am happy to see that we will finally have the realization of a project that would bring jobs and be a synergy for this part of our community,” he said.
CTC DeLand will see the construction of 233 multi-family units designed to mimic a single-family neighborhood on an approximately 29-acre parcel at the corner of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Beltway and Cassadaga Road.
The cottage-style units will not be for new tenants, but rather for people looking to downsize or young people who can afford above-market housing.
During the development’s second reading for rezoning, the DeLand City Commission wanted to ensure that some of the project’s “cans” would become “musts”.
DeLand’s attorney, Mark Watts of Cobb Cole, representing developer Taylor Morrison, said the developer could guarantee a number of amenities, but some were not locked. The development’s pavilion, pool and dog parks are defined, as is the multi-use path connecting adjacent properties and a butterfly garden.
“We may have additional trail areas and lookouts and other open space enhancements if engineering permits,” Watts said.
CTC DeLand was unanimously approved by the Municipal Commission.
The second project is DeLand Tech Park, a 143-acre development just south of CTC DeLand with room for commercial and industrial growth in the form of warehouses and other buildings.
Community members, like the Stetson University professor Dr. Wendy Andersonhad been concerned about DeLand allowing industrial development at its corner of State Road 472 and I-4 when neighboring towns were planning the exact same thing, but Cobb Cole’s attorney, Nika Hosseini, said the project was in line with what DeLand had planned for the area.
“It’s supposed to go here,” she said.
Not only does it match the overall plan for the city, she said, but it matches what was proposed there in the 1990s.
Mayor Apgar also confirmed that, despite fears that developments in nearby municipalities are underway without DeLand’s knowledge, city staff are aware of the plans.
Previously envisioned as a Heathrow-style destination area at the intersection of several cities, DeLand Tech Park aims to bring more industrial development to the area.
City Commissioner Chris Cloudman said he was fine with dropping the prospect of a DeLand-Deltona-Orange City Heathrow because DeLand already has a destination: its historic downtown. Industrial warehouses on the outskirts of town, he said, would prevent heavy trucks from rolling down Woodland Boulevard Downtown.
As with CTC DeLand, the city commission had some changes to make with DeLand Tech Park, such as putting language in the development agreement that caps the square footage of commercial development to ensure there is diversity in commercial development. and industrial, as well as smaller changes to what is allowed in each section of the project.
The rezoning of DeLand Tech Park was unanimously approved by the City Commission.
The next step for both projects is to present more defined construction plans to the city commission.