Wolf Branch Innovation District
Over the years, the City has worked with Lake County to establish an area east of town within the City’s Joint Planning Area for the establishment of an employment based economic development district.
This area is ideally located to take advantage of the imminent construction of the Wekiva Parkway and improved transportation system along State Road 46. To date, the City and County have jointly developed and adopted consistent land use designations to allow for higher intensity office, light industrial and support retail uses.
Aerial Map (PDF)
The first step in the process was to gauge market demand within the region to potentially target market sectors that are unaddressed in the central Florida region; develop a master plan for the area; and prepare a marketing package to promote the area and its assets for development. With the assistance of the State Department of Economic Opportunity, the City and County have completed the market analysis to help guide the master planning process.
Following identification of potential business sectors to target, creating a conceptual master plan for the area will be important to guide the future development. The conceptual plan would address the potential transportation system to provide for an efficient management of traffic between the local, collector and arterial system. Based upon this, a utility plan can be developed to guide the extension of utilities to the area. This would address critical facilities such as fire protection; master lift station locations for central sewage systems and stormwater facilities. Based upon the location of the infrastructure, potential lot size and layout can be planned. The master plan is shown below. Over the next several months the city and county will be working with property owners in the area to develop a plan to take advantage of the unique opportunity provided by the completion of the beltway.
The final step is to prepare marketing package to provide to prospective investors, and economic development agencies to raise awareness of the development opportunities in the area. The City and County have discussed the potential of this area with local, regional and statewide economic development professionals. Based upon these discussions, a common theme that has been identified as a weakness in exposing this area to potential job creators is the lack of a set of marketing and promotional materials. The Lake County Department of Economic Development and Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission have indicated that they see great potential in this area. However, in order for them to do their job in promoting and recruiting new business, they need marketing materials to help them sell the economic potential of the Employment Center. The final phase of the process would be to develop those materials and provide them to these agencies to help guide prospects to this area.