In May, 2021, Mount Dora City Council approved entering into negotiations with a developer for a multi-use parking garage project which spans the downtown block from Baker Street to the south to Tremain Street to the north and from Third Avenue to the railroad tracks. Below are more details, as well as the entire April 15, 2021 proposal and the City of Mount Dora RFP (Request for Proposal) available for download.
A community meeting was scheduled for July 19 to discuss downtown parking solutions, as well as receive input from citizens, but it was cancelled on July 14. This page will continue to be updated as events transpire.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE bid
NUMBER OF BIDS RECEIVED:
PROJECTED CONSTRUCTION COST
Over $50 million (according to bid)
Downtown Parking Solution MD, LLC whose managing partner is Gerry Guenther, principal of G3 Development (G3) is the developer. G3 owns commercial buildings and land in Mount Dora and is the family business and employer of Mount Dora City Council Member Austin Guenther.
Councilman Guenther is legally required to recuse himself from voting on this project if it proceeds. His appointees to the Historic Preservation Board and Planning & Zoning Commission ( P & Z) can argue for it and vote on it. For example, after the recent effort to increase downtown building heights was tabled,, Guenther's P & Z appointee was the sole member of the commission who sought to bring the issue back during its June 16, 2021 meeting.
On July 20, 2021, in lieu of abstaining, Guenther voted against a motion to draft an ordinance capping building heights in the Historic District to 35 feet and 25 feet within 100 feet from the lakefront. Both are areas where G3 and/or its principals have commercial property.
SCOPE OF PROPOSAL:
Proposal is for redevelopment of City-owned and private property into the developer-conceived "district" that consists of apartments, a parking garage, office, retail and other uses (download complete proposal below). The scope of City's RFP (Request for Proposals) was for redevelopment of City-owned property for a mixed-use parking structure. (download complete RFP below).
The square block bordered by E. 3rd Avenue, Baker Street, and N. Tremain Street and the railroad property. The block currently has two city-owned parking lots and two historic homes and one non-historic home.
368,952 gross square feet
PROPOSED HOMES TO BE REMOVED
3 (2 historic and 1 non-historic)
ELEMENTS OF PROPOSAL:
ACCESS TO GARAGE:
MARCH 5, 2021
The City of Mount Dora released a Request for Proposals (RFP 21-CM-007) for the potential redevelopment of city-owned property into a multi-use parking structure. Read more.
APRIL 19, 2021
Proposals were due and privately unsealed, per process. A total of one proposal was submitted. The bid does not become a public record until a Notice of Intent to award the bid or 30 days after the proposals have been opened (whichever comes first).
MAY 4, 2021
Mount Dora City Council passed Land Code Development amendments allowing for up to a 55' parking structure in one of four locations in Mount Dora. One of them was the location provided in the RFP released on March 5.
MAY 18, 2021
Mount Dora City Council voted to enter into negotiations with the sole bidder on the RFP. The developer is Downtown Parking Solution MD, LLC, with Gerry Guenther of G3 Development is listed as managing partner.
MAY 19, 2021
City staff tabled issue of raising building heights throughout Mount Dora to 55 feet, which the P & Z Commission was considering. This did not affect the garage negotiations from moving forward because the height allowance of a parking structure was part of the May 4 Land Code Development amendments that were passed by the City Council.
MAY 14, 2021
Residents in opposition of the project organized an on-going, grass-roots effort named "Keep Historic Mount Dora Quaint."
JULY 14, 2021
A scheduled public meeting was cancelled by the mayor who had arranged the meeting for July 19 to discuss the project and the City's efforts to provide downtown parking solutions, as well as receive input from citizens.
JULY 20, 2021
According to City staff, negotiations are still underway with the developer.
JULY 26, 2021
G3 Development principal, Gerry Guenther, notified mayor the company was withdrawing from negotiations. This update paves the way for a new Request for Proposals in the future that could have a more detailed scope for a parking garage and attract more than one bid.
August 2, 2021
The City of Mount Dora issued an official Notice of Cancellation of RFP 21-CM-007 (see document below)
Parking GARAGE PROPOSAL (PUBLIC RECORD)
CITY'S RFP FOR THE GARAGE (rfp 21-CM-007)
CITY CANCELLATION OF rfp 21-CM-007