Plans to build an assisted-living facility on Marina Island are moving through Sanford City Hall.
Frank Cerasoli, managing partner of TFA IV LLC, submitted a proposed site plan to build a 94-unit assisted-living facility (ALF) at 530 N. Palmetto Ave.
The 53,864-square-foot, 4-story ALF is slated to be built on the site of Monroe’s on the Lake, a 1960s-era, 2-story hotel. Cerasoli has applied for a demolition permit to tear down the hotel.
The plans are being reviewed internally by Sanford planning staff, and Cerasoli met with the city’s development review in July. The Planning and Zoning Commission is expected to take up the matter in September for a site plan review to determine if the plans are consistent with the city’s Land Development Code and the development order approved by the City Commission in October 2014.
Located in downtown Sanford, Marina Island is a man-made peninsula that juts out into Lake Monroe. The city built Marina Island in the mid 1960s, and Holiday Inn operated the hotel until Best Western took over operations in the 1990s. By the early 2000s, the hotel was no longer operated by a national hospitality company.
The city originally granted a 99-year lease when the property was built, and that lease has been bought and sold several times over the years.
Cerasoli bought the lease in 2006 from Bob Horian’s Suncor Island Properties Ltd., and had plans to build an 8-story, 300-unit condo complex. However, a crash in the real estate market delayed those plans and Cerasoli’s Planned Development (PD) agreement with the city expired in 2011.
In 2014, Cerasoli approached the city about amending the PD to allow an assisted living facility. Sanford residents organized strong opposition to the change, although the property’s zoning originally allowed for a nursing home. The Sanford City Commission eventually approved a PD agreement allowing the assisted living facility, despite vocal opposition from city residents.
Cerasoli had indicated he would build a hotel in addition to the assisted living facility, however those plans have yet to materialize. His company has repeatedly been delinquent on paying its property taxes, including this year when the taxes were paid just before the annual tax certificate auction in June.