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HAINES CITY, FL-Boardwalk Land Development Co., a subsidiary of Victor Posner Enterprises, plans to break ground Oct. 1 on the largest mixed-use venture targeted for Central Florida in the last five years–a $500-million, 365-acre community that will house 2.5 million sf of retail, commercial and business park development, 2,600 hotel rooms and 1,991 apartments, townhomes and single-family residences.

The site is the former spring training camp location of the Kansas City Royals known as Baseball City. The property lies south of Interstate 4 and US 27, north of here and 60 miles south of Downtown Orlando.

The first of three phases at the Victor Posner City Center will have 1.3 million sf of retail, commercial and business park space, 626 hotel rooms and 268 residential units, according to preliminary plans filed with the Central Florida Regional Planning Council. The entire venture is tentatively scheduled for completion in 2020.

“The project is bucking the odds” for success, an area broker who has seen at least three other planned enterprises fail at the same location tells GlobeSt.com. “The big item here is money–will the developer have deep enough pockets to see the project through for 17 years?”

To that end, Boardwalk Land Development has created a Community Development District, a unique Florida government entity device that allows a developer and not a municipality to control the growth of a project. The developer plans to finance infrastructure improvements through the CDD.

The local site has had a checkered history. Circus World succeeded for a dozen years in the 1960s and 1970s. But the Boardwalk and Baseball theme park that followed Circus World closed its doors after a few years. From then until Victor Posner Enterprises bought the land in early 2001, the property was the planned site of several mega commercial and residential projects, none of which succeeded.

Victor Posner Enterprises was founded by Victor Posner, the legendary corporate raider of the 1970s and 1980s, who died in Miami Beach on Feb. 11, 2002.

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