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Thursday, Nov 23, 2017
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Plant City will seek developer to buy Midtown property, spur growth

PLANT CITY - The city hopes to find a developer early next year to buy city-owned land and eventually start construction in Midtown. The city will advertise for firms interested in buying one or more of the parcels the city owns in Midtown, an 85-acre area south of downtown. The city hopes a developer will build small shops and homes in the area. The city hopes that its land might bring in $1 million in the next year, although City Manager Greg Horwedel said that's just a rough estimate. Overall, the city hopes to bring in $4 million over the next three years through land sales. "We don't know what the offers are going to be until the proposals come back," Horwedel said.
The vast majority of Midtown — about 61 acres — is in private hands and includes businesses and industries, with a smattering of homes. The city's larger Midtown parcels include the former police station, Gro Mor fertilizer plant and Stock Lumber, all along or near Collins Street. The city's next order of business in Midtown is to eliminate an awkward intersection where Wheeler, Alabama and Evers streets meet, Horwedel told city commissioners at their Sept. 10 meeting. Construction on the $2.2 million project should start soon, and is one of the final improvements the city is planning to make Midtown more marketable, although the city plans to establish a park in the near future, he said. Other items of interest at the commission meeting included: When it's finished early next year, the walking trail around the pond at Hunter and Grant streets will look similar to the one at Samuel W. Cooper Park.

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