EXCLUSIVE: Developer talks about depot project

The developer behind a possible redevelopment of Sanford’s old train depot says he is “very positive about the city of Sanford,” and hopes to bring the project before a city board in October.

I reported last week that the train depot could be turned into an indoor food market. LINK

Since that time, I spoke directly to the gentleman undertaking the project. He asked not to be named at this time. I can tell you this, he is a Deberry resident with a business background, he currently has a retail shop on Park Avenue in Winter Park and he tried to buy Sanford’s iconic PICO Building three years ago. The name of The Sanford project is Bohemian Marketplace.

He confirmed that the project would be similar to the East End Market in Audubon Park in Orlando – an indoor food bazaar – with one big difference: Sanford’s market will have much more non-food related retail.

“You have to give people a reason to be there, ” the gentleman said. “At markets like the East End you go in for some coffee or some bread, but there’s nothing to keep you there for any time.”

About half of the 6,000 square-foot building will be dedicated to food. He currently has a letter of intent with the company to provide the food vendors as well as a restaurant for the market. The restaurant would include 1,500 square feet of covered outdoor seating on the west side of the building.

The remaining space inside the train depot would be reserved for unique, one–of–a-retailers that sell items you can’t find in other places. It could be boots, jewelry, clothing or other items.

One concept he is considering is pup cakes – cupcakes that look like your pet.

Lease rates start at $225 per month

He is in the early stages of recruiting a couple of unique retailers that currently have locations on Park Avenue in Winter Park to the Sanford market.

Lease rates in the Bohemian Marketplace would be $2.25 per square foot per month with a minimum of 100 square feet. Tenants would also pay a pro rata share of the electric bill, and possibly a small fee to fund a grand opening marketing event. Beyond that there would be no other common area maintenance fees.

A conceptual drawing of a proposed indoor market at Sanford's old train  with additional space provided by old shipping containers and railroad cars. Photo credit: ILuv Winter Park (posted on the site's Swarm account)
A conceptual drawing of a proposed indoor market at Sanford’s old train with additional space provided by old shipping containers and railroad cars. Photo credit: Bohemian Marketplace

Prospective tenants would be asked to sign a letter of intent and provide a $500 refundable deposit.

“My intent is to open with a full market, “he said. “We want to line up all of the vendors on the front end. If we are unable to make this project work they would receive their deposit back.”

Those interested in leasing space should send an email to consultmgm@yahoo.com or call 407-948-2853.

The Bohemian Marketplace is slated to open in the first quarter of 2015.

In addition to the 2,500 square feet of space available for retail inside the old train depot, there could be as much as 1,600 square feet of space available outside the depot by using re-purposed shipping containers and old railroad cars.

The railroad cars would be vintage 1840s models. They would come from a broker in the Midwest and be transported to Sanford at a cost of about $30,000. The project developer does not expect he will run into a problem with the city regarding the appropriateness of the railroad cars since the building was originally a train depot.

Repurposing shipping containers as structures is a new building technique, and is requiring extra negotiations with the city of Sanford.

“We are working With (Sanford Historic Preservation Officer) Christine Dalton to come up with a  solution,” he said. “The issue is this has never been done before in Sanford, and there is nothing in the code that addresses it. She has been wonderful yo work with.  The city has been very cooperative, and we are trying to come up with a solution that is appropriate for the area.”

Sanford resident Jerry Mills is the project architect for the Bohemian Marketplace.

The developer is hoping to have the project ready for the October meeting of the Historic Preservation Board.

I reported last week that John Washburn of Washburn Imports may be involved with theBbohemian Marketplace, however the developer said that is not the case.

“I have heard John has been very positive about the project,” the developer said. “I would love to meet with him and get his input, and hopefully we can have some of the success that he has had.

“I’m very positive about the city of Sanford, and I think there are a lot of great things happening,” the developer said. “I’m excited to do this project in Sanford.”

– Dan Ping


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