SANFORD, FL-This changing blue-collar community is about to get a new face, come September, when Seminole County developer Robert Horian and his Suncor Properties Inc. break ground on an estimated $36 million mixed-use project, 25 miles north of Downtown Orlando.

“Some of those estimates involve ancillary equipment, but we think we can do the entire project at about $100 per sf,” Horian tells “It’s a challenging job but we look forward to getting it done.” Also planned is a 500-car parking garage for about $6.2 million.

The estimated cost of the residential and commercial components have been estimated by county planners at $13 million. The conference center, which would have 30,660 sf of meeting and exhibition space, is estimated at $17 million.

The project includes Sanford’s first 62,660-sf conference center with a 20,000-sf outdoor amphitheater and a 10,000-sf indoor amphitheater; two six-story buildings with undetermined retail and other commercial space on the ground level and 36 condos on the upper floors; 64 townhomes; and the remodeling of the Best Western Hotel Marina.

The residential and commercial projects will be built on 6.8 acres west and north of Sanford City Hal at Lake Monroe. The conference center, parking garage, retail and restaurant space is planned at Sanford Avenue and First Street and will incorporate the existing civic center.

Horian says this is Suncor’s largest venture since it was founded in suburban Lake Mary, FL in 1995. He closed his biggest deal at Suncor when the firm sold its one-year-old, 74,875-sf, 100%-leased Shoppes of Lake Mary Collection to Inland Real Estate Acquisitions Inc. of Oak Brook, IL in September 2002. It sold for $12.5 million or $166.94 per sf, marking it as one of the highest per-unit-prices for a retail property that year, according to area brokers.

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