concept art debary downtown
GRAPHIC COURTESY CITY OF DEBARY
Concept art for the future of Dowtown DeBary

Having morphed from an unincorporated village on the east and west sides of U.S. Highway 17-92 into a growing city, DeBary is set to develop something every respectable city needs: a bustling business district that attracts people to work and shop and establish a definite community identity.

At the urging of City Manager Carmen Rosamonda, the DeBary City Council Feb. 15 unanimously agreed to postpone the closing of the sale of a city-owned tract until the end of June to give more time to work out details of the plan.

“We only get one shot at this, and we have to do it right,” Rosamonda said.

Under the latest change in the real estate contract between DeBary and Mosaic Development LLC, the closing date will be pushed back from April 6 to June 30. 

The reason for requesting the 85-day delay in the closing, Rosamonda noted, was the “complexity” of the deal and meeting all the requirements of various regulatory agencies, including the Florida Department of Transportation and the St. Johns River Water Management District, along with FPL, which will provide electricity to Main Street.

“We’ve been working on all the details,” Rosamonda said.

Mosaic Development, of St. Petersburg, is purchasing 19.5 acres on the city’s south side to build Main Street for $6.25 million. Mosaic will invest tens of millions of dollars into transforming the property, which includes a former mobile-home park, into an attractive commercial core.

“In 2019, we assembled all the property for Main Street,” Rosamonda said.

The property is within the Transit Overlay District, a 210-acre special economic-development zone anchored by the SunRail station. 

If all goes as planned — and the planning and dreaming have spanned years — DeBary will soon break ground for Main Street, a sparkling mixed-use development just north of the SunRail station. The actual development and construction of Main Street will begin before the end of 2023, according to Rosamonda.

When it is fully built out, Main Street will have 480 apartments, 290 town houses, 36 live-work units and four commercial outparcels. The plan calls for 45,000 square feet of commercial space. Much of the retail and office space will be on the first floor of the several four-story buildings along Main Street. Owners of the businesses will live above their ground-floor shops or professional offices. 

The Main Street design also calls for balconies on the exterior of the apartments and town houses, to provide opportunities for people to be seen and to make the new downtown development appear friendly and a place where other people want to come.

Yet another notable design feature is making the stormwater-retention facilities appear to be a waterway, with Main Street having what looks like a bridge over the water. 

“It’s called a faux bridge to make it look like a bridge,” Rosamonda said.

Not least, Main Street will have a 9,000-square-foot community plaza and a 5-acre park.

Noting the immense time and work already invested in the pending project, Mayor Karen Chasez was willing to accept the extension on closing the deal.

“I think this is a reasonable accommodation,” she said. “It’s extremely complex.”

The exact or estimated date for beginning construction has not been set, but Rosamonda has high hopes and expectations for Main Street and Mosaic.

“They’re very passionate about building in DeBary,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of meetings with architects and engineers.”

1 COMMENT

  1. This is what people, especially people who are younger like myself, are looking for. I applaud what DeBary is doing because it helps provide housing while being much more sustainable than the suburbs. TOD overlay zoning is something that should be much more common, especially when we have such weather that permits us the ability to be out most of the year.

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