A Park and a Roundabout are Posing Problems for McCraney’s Winter Park Office Plan

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Site plans for McCraney Property Company’s three-story, 29,500-square-foot office building were released with the agenda for Winter Park’s next Planning and Zoning Board meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 6, at 6 p.m. The project is slated for the former Bank of the Ozarks property at 1100 N. Orange Ave., but city staff are recommending the Board table the proposal and request a new site plan that addresses two outstanding issues.

According to the city documents, McCraney is requesting to vacate a deed restriction that prohibits vertical additions and paved areas on an 11,035-square-foot area at the southern end of the 1.88 acre property, across from Seven Oaks Park. The restriction goes back to the 2009 sale of the land to American Momentum Bank and was intended to provide a greenspace or park area at the tip of the property.

A site plan shows the proposed office building at the northern corner of the 1.88-acre property with 10 parking spaces occupying the greenspace easement at the southern tip.

The site plan maintains most of the intended greenspace, but utilizes an existing paved area for driveway access and parking spaces. However, the paved area was in place prior to the deed restriction and was not intended to remain in the space. Plans also call for the removal of an oak tree within the easement that staff recommends preserving.

City staff have proposed trading the southern easement for one at the opposite end of the site, by the intersection of Denning Drive and Minnesota Avenue. The northern easement would accommodate a roundabout that is part of planned traffic management in the Orange Avenue Overlay and in the city’s Transportation Master Plan. The agenda item states that McCraney feels the northern easement would impact the design of the building, which occupies the same edge of the property.

The above rendering shows the building’s placement at the Denning Drive/Minnesota Avenue intersection. The below photo of the intersection with the planned roundabout shows the easement’s intrusion on the area where the building would sit.

The agenda item also states that the easement is necessary for the roundabout, and that its elimination would be “inconsistent with the priorities of the Transportation Master Plan that was adopted by the Commission in 2023, and is therefore in conflict with the Comprehensive Plan that states our objective is to adopt a Transportation Master Plan that promotes and supports the broad transportation needs of the community.”

With regard to the greenspace easement at the property’s southern end, staff’s assertion is that: “If it is the recommendation of the P&Z Board to keep the easement, the applicant would need to withdraw this request and redesign the project on the remaining 1.63 acres.”

The building would house McCraney’s corporate headquarters in approximately 7,000 square feet of space, leaving the rest up for lease. In addition to meeting the city’s building height and floor area ratio (FAR) requirements, the project meets stormwater requirements with an exfiltration system under the parking lot. And the proposed 106 parking spaces exceeds the required commercial ratio of one space per 333 square feet, which amounts to 89 spaces.

Staff recommendations will be considered when the Planning and Zoning Board reviews the proposal on Tuesday. The meeting agenda can be downloaded here.

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