FROM ART RENDERING TO REALITY? — If art is an imitation of life, then life may become an imitation of art. If all goes as planned, the long-anticipated vision of DeBary Main Street, according to city officials, will become a reality within about three years. Mosaic Development is set to invest tens of millions of dollars in Main Street, whose property formerly was a mobile-home park.

With no opposition and little discussion, DeBary’s leaders have inched closer to attaining their goal of having a downtown district that promises to be more appealing and vibrant than the older strip along U.S. Highway 17-92.

The City Council April 19 passed on second and final reading the ordinance enabling the creation of DeBary Main Street.

“I’m glad that we’ve made it this far,” Mayor Karen Chasez said, as the council unanimously adopted the measure that includes the development agreement.

Main Street is to be situated on almost 20 acres on the northwest corner of U.S. 17-92 and Fort Florida Road, just north of the SunRail station. The city is selling the land for $6.25 million to Mosaic at DeBary LLC, a subsidiary of Mosaic Development, of St. Petersburg. Mosaic has unveiled plans to invest tens of millions of dollars in infrastructure and mixed-use buildings that will form a commercial core and gathering place for people and special events.

The next big legal step comes when the city and Mosaic close on the sale of the land. 

“They have to close the property before June 30, and then we have a lot of engineering to do,” City Manager Carmen Rosamonda said.

Even after the new owner and developer take title to the property, there will be more waiting time before people actually have new places to shop or live. Rosamonda estimated the construction of the first phase of the two-phase Main Street will take at least two years. That first phase will include construction of four-story buildings with shops, specialty stores, restaurants and professional offices on the first floor, and living quarters on the second, third and fourth floors.

The retail component will take up an estimated 37,500 square feet. In addition, there will be 7,000 square feet of management office space and a community plaza covering 9,000 square feet. Not least, there will be a central park of 5 acres for public activities such as farmers markets, art festivals and concerts.

Phase 2 will have 170 multifamily apartments.

The Main Street tract is in the heart of DeBary’s Transit Oriented Overlay District, a special zone anchored by the SunRail depot. The city formed the TOD, which is approximately 210 acres, to lure high-quality commercial and residential development and make DeBary a destination for visitors, including those who choose to come by the commuter train whose south terminus is Poinciana in Osceola County and whose north end will eventually be DeLand.


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