By Ken Jackson
St. Cloud Commons, on the site of the old flea market near Florida’s Turnpike, isn’t the only large-scale retail operation rising out of the ground in Osceola County.
Farther west and just a little north of U.S. Highway 192, Sunrise City will serve the areas around Osceola Parkway, Vineland Road and Polynesian Isle Boulevard with a variety of shopping and eating offerings.
Among the 317,000 square feet currently being built in Phase I include a Publix, eateries Five Guys Burgers & Fries, Chipotle, Wendy’s and Twistee Treat and retail names including Five Below, TJ Maxx, PetCo and Ross.
Two smaller parcels and a larger, 75,359 square foot parcel directly facing Vineland Road have yet to be leased.
Phase I will be adjacent to the Osceola Parkway exit to Poinciana Boulevard.
Intram Investments, an Orlando-based real estate development and restaurant investment company, that is also involved in retail development deals on other parts of U.S. 192 in Kissimmee and the company behind the Twistee Treat ice cream locations, is developing the site, and Phase I is just the beginning.
Six other adjacent sites, ranging from 5.98 to 50 acres, have also been platted out, which could be home to 400 apartments on the north side of Osceola Parkway, according to approvals made by Osceola County planning review officials in April 2016.
According to planning documents, Lennar Homes is also planning a 2,000-home development on the south side of Osceola Parkway, across from that land.
Intram’s figures show there are 36,594 households within a five-mile radius of the development.
In 2016, the Florida Department of Transportation began studying how to improve a large stretch of Vineland Road, also known as State Road 535, with the goal to improve the busy road all the way north to the Interstate 4 interchange, which already gets swamped daily with a mix of local and tourist traffic. According to FDOT’s stats, S.R. 535 carries 29,000 cars a day from U.S. 192, increasing to 46,000 after crossing Poinciana Boulevard.
Plenty of options were put in play, such as adding lanes to the road, adding or enhancing sidewalks and bike lanes and looking at the coordination of traffic lights.