Plenty of new development is on the horizon in Ocala, as both the residential and commercial real estate market thrive across Marion County. Here is a brief lineup of proposals, plans and openings that are in the works.
First on deck are plans to create the Quarry RV Resort, which would be able to house up to 450 recreational vehicles on approximately 69 acres of land on a former mining site just north of Ocala.
Woodfields is a fantastic established neighborhood located in the heart of southeast Ocala, featuring at an eclectic mix of homes, with everything from fixer-uppers to newly remodeled move-in-ready homes. The neighborhood is conveniently located between SE 17th Street and Fort King and is close to historic downtown Ocala, as well as to great shopping, dining, hospitals and more. Plus, this quiet community is located in one of the most sought-after school districts in the county.
New businesses continue to pop up all over Marion County and include restaurants, hotels and banks, to name a few.
Plenty is on the horizon for commercial development projects in Ocala. To start, progress is underway on Bojangles restaurant, which will be the first location for the company in Marion County, and it will be located on State Road 200 west of the Market Street at Heath Brook Mall.
There's good news for the real estate market in Ocala, as property values in Marion County are up 5.43% since 2016, continuing the trend from a year ago, when property values were up 4.23% from 2015.
The overall increase in property value can partly be attributed to the $300 million that was spent in new construction, remodeling and expansions. Another major player that contributed to the big jump in the taxable value of Marion County property was the huge addition of the new FedEx distribution center, which is valued at approximately $50 million.
We're very excited to welcome our latest Savvy agent, Angi Rosario.
Market Street at Heath Brook, which was once a failing retail center, is now on the up and up, especially with the new construction that is planned here to put in a 12-screen movie theater on land occupying over four acres. It will be called the Market Street SC-Epic Theater, and it will be the only theater of its size in the area and is slated to open in 2018.
There is exciting news for pizza lovers in Ocala. The incredibly popular Piesanos Stone Fired Pizza that is already a Gainesville favorite, is expanding to Marion County in the Grand Oaks Town Center on SW 42nd Street across from Trinity Catholic High School. This is essentially the first franchise for the company.
A new huge commerce park may be moving in to Marion Oaks to help "continue the county's successful foray into logistics and distribution." With the success of the Ocala/Marion County Commerce Park that already has a distribution facility for FedEx and an AutoZone and Chewy facility on the way, developing a new commerce park seems like the right move to further Ocala's growth and economic development.
Construction of the new auto zone distribution center at Ocala/Marion County Commerce Park located north of US 27 and just east of Interstate 75 is under way. The other major newcomer to the property, a huge FedEx facility, is already up and running. Next on deck at the site is Chewie.com's distribution center.
Downtown Ocala has really come around in recent years, as a major redevelopment of the area has been aimed at making it not only a commercial and residential hub, but also a place for dining and entertainment that draws from all over the city.
Let's check in with what's happening around Ocala.
If a new lunch spot is what you're after, you can get excited about the new Jimmy John's sandwich shop that opened recently at 43 South Pine Avenue. It is the company's second location in Ocala and features deliciously simple sandwiches on homemade bread. Jimmy John's features dine-in seating, as well as delivery and catering options.
Get ready for a beautiful brand new grocery shopping experience with an old brand that's getting a new image.
Winn-Dixie stores around the country are getting makeovers, and the first central Florida location to undergo a dramatic remodel as part of the company's rebranding effort is the Ocala location at 11310 US 301 in Belleview. The store features an increased product variety, a much bigger bakery and so much more.
There is plenty of entertainment in the coming weeks for Ocala residents to enjoy, and here is a lineup of what you can look forward to.
The 24th annual Southeastern Pro Rodeo will take place March 24th and 25th at the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion in Ocala. The event will include bareback riding, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing and bull riding.
On March 31st, the Gospel Music Concert Series at College Road Baptist Church will conclude with a performance by the group Southern Raised, which is sure to be a great show.
There has been a slow transformation over the past few decades in the West Silver Springs Place neighborhood that has left the area as a less than desirable residential place. Crime is up and it is no longer the safe neighborhood that it once was. Residents of the community spoke during a recent City Council meeting requesting a commitment from city officials to "help return the entire West Silver Springs Place neighborhood back to...a clean and safe environment."
As one of a handful of firms that serves both the Gainesville & Ocala markets, we like to compare the two from time to time. Let's take a look where we are in the spring of 2017.
The Marion County Planning and Zoning Commission recommended county approval for the development of an upscale housing project just south of Golden Ocala Golf and Equestrian Club. The plans call for 125 new homes across 505 acres.
The new housing development is between 80th Avenue and Northwest 100th Avenue just north of State Road 40 and south of US 27. The equestrian facility north of the residential project is also part of the overall development and will potentially include eight barns and four indoor arenas, as well as several rings for equestran jumping. There would be enough parking for approximately 1,000 cars, and an option for future residential development on the equestrian property may be a possibility.
The Ocala Culinary Festival is making its debut on March 1 and will feature five days of fabulous food and wine events. In recent years, Ocala has really been stepping up its dining game and has even earned two prestigious Florida Trend Golden Spoon awards. While Ocala was once home to only chain restaurants, it now boasts several fantastic eateries. This event was designed to showcase Marion County as a foodie destination and will hopefully put Ocala on the culinary map.
Development in downtown Ocala continues, and with a growing dining, shopping and entertainment scene, parking is a more valuable commodity than ever. Downtown parking is very limited and in an attempt to make it more readily available to patrons, the city is developing and implementing ongoing plans aimed at encouraging downtown business owners and employees to park in the readily available free parking garage, so that on-street parking spaces and lots are available for customers.
Ocala's Florida Horse Park hosted the Ocala Winter II Horse Trials this past weekend where more participants competed in the event since 2009 when the eventing trial was founded. More than 600 horses participated from around the country and were represented by competing family members, Olympians, and event newcomers alike.
Plenty of fun is in the entertainment pipeline in the coming weeks in Ocala.
This Friday, the Appleton Museum of Art will host the Frida-By-Moonlight party from 6:30 to 8:30 PM as part of the museum's Frida Kahlo exhibit. The party will feature Mexican cuisine, cocktails and live Latin music.