Opinions on old library? Speak out next week as city considers land swaps

Winter Park will hold a neighborhood meeting about the future of the old library followed by a review of potential real estate swaps for the high-profile land

By Beth Kassab

Residents who want to be heard on the future of the old Winter Park Library across from Rollins College will have two opportunities next week.

On Monday, the city will host a session in the City Commission chambers at 5:30 for residents and others to ask questions and voice opinions about the development of the property at 460 New England Avenue that could turn into anything from a home for local nonprofits to workforce housing or a mixed-use development.

City staff will provide a presentation at the meeting followed by a chance for nearby residents to comment along with any other members of the public.

Then on Wednesday, the City Commission will take up the matter at its regular meeting, including a discussion of two potential land swaps recently proposed to city staff.

One offer involves trading the land near the police building at 501 N. Virginia Avenue plus cash for the library property, according to a memorandum included in the commission agenda.

A second concept would provide the city the Bank of the Ozarks property at 1100 Orange Avenue for the old library land to be developed into workforce housing, the memo says.

The commission could decide Wednesday if it wants to pursue one of those options or issue a new Request for Proposal for ideas. So far the commission has said the new development can not exceed four stories or 55 feet, must maintain the oak tree on the east side of the current building and agreed to give preference to concepts that include the arts and local nonprofits.


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