Orlando, Fla. — Seminole County, Fla. recently approved a Master Plan for the redevelopment of the Oxford Road area identified as a key “catalyst” site for redevelopment and reinvestment along the U.S. 17-92 corridor. It is a catalyst site because of its pivotal position on the Seminole County transportation network. The plan was prepared by VHB, a national planning, design and engineering firm with its Southeast headquarters in Orlando.

Currently, the Oxford Road area is home to a population of 22,700, with a median household income of $52,200. This area is poised for expansion due to its proximity via LYNX bus to the nearby Altamonte Springs SunRail commuter rail station and the economic activity the ridership will generate.

In order to assure the redevelopment plan was market driven and therefore would attract redevelopment proposals, Seminole County drew input for the redevelopment plan from two sources; (1) an Oxford Road focus group comprised of local business owners, and (2) a Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) provided by ULI which included experts from the local and national real estate communities.

“What the business owners and ULI TAP concluded is that the area needs to be a walkable district where people live, shop, work and visit,” said Jim Sellen, MSP, Principal Planner at VHB. “The most important recommendation was that we start with the residential development and the commercial development should be focused on the needs of the local communities. In addition, they recommended that the County implement the reconstruction of Oxford Road and extend it to US 17-92 to incentivize redevelopment.”

The plan reimagines the existing strip commercial area into a mixed-use development including entertainment, multi-family residential, neighborhood commercial, space for events and connected green space. Oxford Road will become a “main street” environment composed of smaller blocks and attractive streetscapes with wide sidewalks that connect this area to the City of Casselberry City Center.

As far as retail space and residential units, this plan estimates an additional 45,000 square footage of retail, comprised of shopping, dining and entertainment options. A retail market analysis by Gibbs Planning Group (GPG) concluded that this addition could equal approximately $14.4 million in sales by 2017.

The plan identifies transit options, such as the existing LYNX “SuperStop” on Fernwood Boulevard and the City of Altamonte Springs new SunRail Station, to connect the Oxford Road area to surrounding cities. Surrounding residential communities will be connected to Oxford Road via pedestrian and bicycle traffic utilizing the Kewannee Trail and the Casselberry Greenway. The Plan for Oxford Road anticipates the new construction of the US 1792 flyover of the intersection of State Road (SR) 436, launching this summer. The long range redevelopment plan for the Oxford Road Area was developed as a collaborative effort between Seminole County, the US 1792 CRA, the City of Casselberry, MetroPlan Orlando.