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ORLANDO-After two years of planning, elected officials in Sanford, FL are considering shrinking a 63,000-sf Downtown, lakefront convention center to 45,000 sf, but the construction cost per-sf could turn out to be more expensive on the smaller job, industry estimators tell GlobeSt.com on condition of anonymity.

Fearful that a projected $700,000 tourism tax revenue this year will actually come in at $550,000, the Seminole County city, 25 miles north of Downtown Orlando, is leaning towards a smaller venture as it approaches the signing of a formal contract with the county. The county will build the project; the city will run it.

However, at an estimated $15.8 million for the 45,000-sf center, the hard cost would be about $351 per sf, construction industry estimators tell GlobeSt.com. At $19 million for the 63,000-sf project, the cost would fall around $302 per sf.

The city is also talking with several national hotel developers to build a hotel next to the convention center at Sanford Avenue and First Street which faces Lake Monroe and the city’s port.

Sanford is already losing projected future business to the new nearby Marriott at Lake Mary in Lake Mary, FL. That property has 12,000 sf of meeting space, including an 8.400-sf ballroom that can hold 1,350 guests for receptions and 750 persons for banquets.

Sanford is negotiating a construction management project with the Maitland, FL office of New York-based Turner Construction Co.

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