DeBary Main Street: 500 apartments, 290 townhomes proposed

There will be shops, restaurants, and bars on DeBary’s first major street, which will be on 50 acres north of the SunRail station and west of U.S. Highway 17-92. There will also be 500 apartments and 290 townhomes.

On 19.5 acres north of the station, which are owned by DeBary and other people, one idea calls for ground-level shops, 500 apartments, and public gathering areas. The other project, which will be built on 32 acres north of DeBary Main Street, will have 280 townhomes, first-floor retail, and four business outparcels.

The plan calls for turning the south end of Shell Road into DeBary’s main street, like in a downtown area, with restaurants, bars, and public places for concerts and other events.

Officials want Main Street to become a regional attraction that brings in tourists, makes money for the government, provides entertainment, and connects to DeBary’s network of trails and natural areas as a lasting heritage project. “It’s very important to me that this is a top-notch project,” said Karen Chasez, mayor of DeBary. “For the next fifty years, we’ll only build it once.”

elevated density

Within a roughly 200-acre area that the city had set aside for high-density growth more than ten years ago, the two upscale projects are the most recent to emerge. Northeast of the station, on the opposite side of US 17-92, is the location of the first project in this zone. That’s the Integra 289 Exchange apartment building, which has 289 units and launched in 2020.

To the north of the apartments is a project called Springwalk at the Junction, which will have 150 single-family houses. Ten mixed-use outparcels, primarily for commercial usage, are planned north of there. Additionally, a retail center is proposed near the intersection of Dirkson Drive and U.S. 17-92 in the southwest.

$6.25 million agreement

On February 2, 2022, a crucial step toward the main-street vision was taken at the City Council meeting.

The area of interest was 19.5 acres to the north of the station on the west side of U.S. 17-92, which included the site of the former Lake Villa Estates mobile home park.

The City Council gave its approval to a deal with Mosaic Development, located in St. Petersburg, to construct main street over 19.5 acres of jointly held city and private property in two stages.

By May 2025, 300 apartments are expected to be built, and by May 2028, 200 more. These flats will be built above first-floor space that is intended for eateries, bars, retail establishments, and other uses.

Chasez remarked, “Let’s work out some of those details and get it moving ahead,” following the unanimous approval of the City Council’s agreement to sell Mosaic 19.35 acres for $6.25 million.
Mosaic has ninety days to accept the agreement.

The founders of the business promised excellent work and a common goal for Main Street. “What we build affects our children’s lives.” “Our grandchildren do,” Roxanne Amoroso, President of Mosaic, said the City Council. “We’re a small group working very carefully on some big things.”
In September 2019, the city and private owners came to an agreement to work together to sell their plots for a new Main Street. On October 27, 2020, the city approved a development plan. Transit-Oriented Development in DeBary

Along SunRail, which connects Poinciana and DeBary, the city hopes to build mixed-use buildings that are as successful as previous ones.

By the summer of 2024, plans are in place to expand service from DeBary to DeLand.

Divergent opinions

William Sell, a member of the City Council, had conflicting feelings regarding the proposed 500-unit apartment complex, but in the end, he voted in favor of it.

According to him, local authorities are hesitant to deny developers’ intentions because doing so could lead to legal action.

Sell claimed that this project will result in “more traffic than we ever imagined,” despite the fact that the land’s high density was previously approved by the council.

There are between 32 and 20 units per acre that are permitted. The 19.5-acre and 32-acre project developers are seeking densities that are below the maximum allowed.

Sell remarked, “It’s amazing that in order for us to be more eco-friendly, we have to tear up a lot of stuff and build stuff.”

Sell, though, is upbeat about Main Street, stating that it will help small companies, offer entertainment to locals, and draw in “good” people.

“Dead-bary” grievances

“Yes, I’m pleased that local businesses will be listed there. That makes me very delighted, Sell continued. “I’m looking forward to visiting that place. When it’s there, I’m probably going to rent a golf cart, drive along Shell Road, and take in the sights of downtown.

He asserted that Main Street ought to entice individuals who refer to the city as “Dead-bary” and lament its lack of activities. Look, Sanford is something that everyone wants. Everyone desires DeLand’s downtown. Will we resemble them exactly? No. stated Sell. “We’ll each have a distinct personality.”

The investment made by the city

DeBary has invested $1.7 million for land north of the station throughout the years. The former mobile home park, which makes up the largest portion of the city, was purchased to control growth and to potentially serve as the site of a community center.

A $12.5 million bond measure for a two-story, nearly 40,000-square-foot public gathering area on the land was rejected by DeBary voters in 2018.

As part of the new agreement, DeBary will get $3.23 million from Mosaic. The other landowners will split the remaining earnings.
The city’s portion will cover the $1.7 million in land purchases that the city paid for. The remaining $1.5 million will be used to improve the intersections and roads in the area.


Regarding the 32-acre project, a sale agreement for the land is still pending. Carmen Rosamonda, the city manager of DeBary, informed the council members that designs for the 290-unit townhome development are being guided by city employees.
40 of those units, he said, will be offered for sale alongside ground-level business space. The units he referred to as “live-work” He declared, “They’re being sold together.”

In other words, first-floor enterprises would be run by inhabitants of townhomes.

During the meeting, he showed the project’s renderings.
Rosamonda remarked, “I can tell you they are extremely popular.” “We’re receiving so many inquiries that it’s unbelievable that they want to come in and purchase so many of these.”

He calculated that he received seven to ten queries from prospective customers. September is when the project is expected to begin.

A common goal

Patricia Stevenson, a member of the DeBary City Council, expressed her excitement about working with Mosaic to realize the city’s main street vision.

“Our entire plan for this downtown was to have a train station and resident amenities that would better serve the community than just empty spaces,” Stevenson stated. “Our train station led to nowhere.” When people exit the train station, they ask, “Where’s DeBary?” as they stroll down Shell.

She underlined that the “vertical” development of multi-level housing is more environmentally friendly than standard single-family house developments and that the city has been planning for this kind of growth for ten years.

“Since this is the final piece of the puzzle, it has to be successful for our town,” Stevenson continued. “Once it starts heading to DeLand, why would people stop here – except if we have something here?” This is what’s going to turn that SunRail station into something more than just a train to nowhere.

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