Osceola County buys more land for future OHP expansion

News-Gazette Photo/Martin Maddock

County officials want to expand the Osceola Heritage Park property north to Fortune Road to attract new, larger events and tourism.

By Rachel Christian

Staff Writer

Osceola County commissioners voted Monday to purchase a $2.2 million parcel of land along Fortune Road as part of an ongoing expansion project of Osceola Heritage Park.

An 11-unit rental community called Keston Park is currently located at the site. The county plans to demolish the units next year after all tenant leases expire.

The county purchased the 1.5-acre parcel from former County Commissioner Randy Sheive, who recently acquired the property in October.

This is the second time Osceola County has purchased land north of OHP

News-Gazette Photo/Martin Maddock
County officials want to expand the Osceola Heritage Park property north to Fortune Road to attract new, larger events and tourism.

with expansion plans in mind.

The last purchase took place in October when commissioners bought a different Sheive-owned property, this time a shopping center, for $3.48 million. That property was later swapped for two vacant parcels at the corner of Fortune and Shakerag roads.

Officials said the long-term goal is to expand OHP property north to Fortune Road to attract new, larger events and tourism.

“Having additional property and land can help attract larger events and festivals,” said Andrew Sullivan, public information officer for Osceola County. “It’s an ongoing, long term project the county is working on.”

The goal is to grow OHP’s footprint, but Sullivan said that doesn’t currently include erecting any new buildings on acquired property.

He also said the county isn’t in a hurry to buy additional land, though he acknowledged commissioners are eyeing at least three other parcels for the future.

“We’re not kicking anyone off their land or asking them to move,” he said. “Just as leases expire and land becomes available, we’re buying it. There’s no rush.”

The money for the county’s land purchase on Monday came from the Tourist Tax Development Fund.

OHP is owned by the county and privately operated by entertainment venue management company SMG.

Sullivan said the county has been working on a “laundry list” of small renovations and upgrades to OHP over the years, including adding hardtop parking areas and new indoor LED lighting.

OHP is a 150-acre indoor and outdoor events center, which includes a 90,000-square foot events center, 5,400-seat stadium and the 10,000-seat Silver Spurs Arena.