Downtown Capital Investment Program
Congratulations citizens of Ocoee! Your City Commission has decided to invest more than $44 million in capital projects intended to enhance public spaces and key infrastructure in Downtown Ocoee as a result of your input to a strategic planning process. This section of the city’s website provides information on the 18 capital projects being funded by one or more of three capital bond issues. These projects will create or expand public spaces along the western shore of Starke Lake and provide critically needed infrastructure to the downtown area, in addition to reconstructing a number of streets to provide both a consistent urban appearance and better support for bicycle and pedestrian travel. This public construction program is being supported by changes to the city’s Land Development Code for the downtown area.
The city is now in the process of going through a sequence of detailed project planning steps that will move these projects through the design, bid, and construction phases over the next five years. It is likely that multiple listed projects will be combined to accelerate the project delivery process and get the benefits of these investments faster. Since this process has just begun, many details are yet to be decided, such as specific milestone dates. So, even though this content is itself “under construction,” we wanted to get the information to you as quickly as possible. Check back frequently so you can follow as we fill-in the information on each project. Thanks for your interest in the city’s efforts to redevelop Downtown Ocoee.
The City of Ocoee has embarked on a major program of capital investment in streets, utilities, and public facilities as the genesis of a downtown revival initiative. The overall goal is to stimulate redevelopment and expansion of the city core, which has been substantially overlooked as the city’s periphery has grown through multiple commercial and residential developments. The main asset in the downtown area is Starke Lake, which has active use as a recreational facility and, increasingly, as a venue for public gatherings. The city’s strategy is to leverage investments in the lakeshore’s public spaces to grow commercial and residential properties to the west. At the junction of the lakeshore and downtown will sit a new City Hall with related retail spaces so as to serve as a transition point as people move from private to public spaces. Keys to the development of the downtown area are street extensions to link the city core with major roadways and sanitary sewer services, which are necessary to increase development density. Water distribution capacity will also need to be increased to handle a higher density of commercial and residential development. Funds from a new bond issue will be supplemented by those already available from the city’s stormwater utility and water and sewer services; some city capital projects will also receive funds from affected development projects. Capital Project Cost Estimation Methodology
Ocoee Downtown Redevelopment
Dear Citizens of Ocoee and our Friends in Central Florida, we are delighted to bring you our third update on the implementation of projects associated with the City of Ocoee’s Downtown Master Plan. As most of you are aware, the City of Ocoee is a year into implementation of its historic Downtown Master Plan, an award winning plan prepared by a team of consultants including GAI, Tindall Oliver, Kittleson and Associates, and Beat Creative Marketing, as well as several others. This plan, which included the City’s largest public participation effort in its history, resulted in an investment by the Ocoee City Commission of $44 million (in a year in which we also lowered taxes) and it includes several projects.
You, the citizens of Ocoee, have probably been slightly inconvenienced by some of the detours in town, but those inconveniences will be well worth the benefits of having new streetscapes and wide sidewalks throughout our downtown. The Bluford avenue project will be completed by the end of October and will provide an urban streetscape connecting our downtown from the north to the south. We are under design for Oakland Avenue, Taylor Street, and McKey Street, and within a few months you will be noticing major differences in the look and feel of downtown streets.
In the first wave of projects, we have phase one of the renovations to our lakefront park which starts the reconstruction of the Lakeshore Center (which will make it the largest meeting venue on the west side of Orlando), and the construction of the new City Hall, all of which are well underway. Work is about to begin on the interior of the Lakeshore Center and later the exterior, all scheduled to be completed in November. Additionally, bidding for the design build contractor for the new City Hall starts later this month, and over the next few months, these projects will start to take shape in the community. Please know that we are working to get these projects done efficiently and effectively, and that without your input, all of these exciting things would not have been possible.
|Project Name||Total Cost||GF Bond||Other Funds|
|Downtown Gravity Sewer System||$950,000||$200,000||$750,000|
|Master Downtown Stormwater System||$8,180,000||$180,000||$8,000,000|
|Lakefront Park Improvements Phase 1 and 2 ||$4,720,000||$3,042,000||TBD|
|Bluford Avenue Reconstruction||$9,680,000||$4,280,000||$5,400,000|
|City Hall Relocation||$10,000,000||$10,000,000||$0|
|Lakeshore Center Expansion||$3,750,000||$3,750,000||$0|
|Oakland Avenue Reconstruction and West Orange Trail Segment 1||$895,000||$895,000||$0|
|McKey Street Reconstruction||$300,000||$300,000||$0|
|Taylor Street, Kissimmee Avenue and Trail Segment 3||$1,672,000||$1,672,000||$0|
|Maine Street Extension||$524,381||$521,381||$3,000|
|Bluford Second Left-turn Lane||$350,000||$239,000||$111,000|
|Silver Star Road (SR 438) Realignment||$890,000||$445,000||$445,000|
|Wastewater Force Main Connector||$2,875,000||$0||$2,875,000|
Capital Project Cost Estimation Methodology
Cost estimates, for the capital investment projects, in the Downtown Ocoee Master Plan are based on multiple considerations and sources. The potential cost for most of the road projects is derived from an average construction costs for similar roads provided by the Florida Department of Transportation. This guidance is based on a sample of actual projects and is used by FDOT during project initiation. A potential issue presented by this source is the relatively small sample size for short, two-lane, urban streets of the type contemplated by the Master Plan. Economies of scale experienced by FDOT projects will not be present in the city’s. To compensate for this potential error and to provide a more conservative cost estimate, a 20% project-level contingency amount was added to the raw cost estimates. This addition will provide more reasonable accommodation of right of way acquisition, stormwater and sanitary sewer construction, and other cost elements of the proposed projects that are not significant considerations in the FDOT data.
The estimated cost for other projects is based on general cost information available to the planning team for the type of construction involved. Many projects have multiple construction types. For example, the Bluford Avenue Reconstruction project involves underground utilities, such as stormwater collection and conveyance pipelines, water mains, gravity lines and force mains for sanitary sewer service, and electric power lines. Each type of construction has its own cost estimating sources and methods. The proposed time of construction is an additional factor, with near-term project costs being more reliable, as some are based on actual price proposals and detailed cost estimates. There are also project dependencies that will need to be accommodated, such as by building a portion of one project as part of another to avoid future reconstruction costs. As a reflection of the degree of uncertainty present at this conceptual planning stage, the cost estimate provided for any specific project should be viewed as illustrative and not definitive of the actual cost.