PLANT CITY, FL. – Wheeler Street Station, a mixed-use development on an empty 0.6-acre lot south of Plant City’s historic downtown, was approved recently by the City Commission. The project collaborators are Solution Source (developer and general contractor), Marlon Lynn Architect, PA, and Boggs Engineering.
“Our goal is to blend Plant City’s historic architectural style and railroad heritage while incorporating modern amenities and design techniques,” said Solution Source’s COO Michael Jemison. “The Marlon Lynn Architect, PA, firm is an expert at integrating function, beauty, and cohesiveness in multi-family residential buildings in historic places.”
Mayor Rick Lott considers downtown the heart of the city and residents its lifeblood. He said this project “will invigorate the historic district and downtown by bringing new commercial offices, retail shops, restaurants, apartments and, especially, residents to support economic development. It will encourage a convergence between downtown and the Midtown revitalization plan’s development of 85 acres south of downtown with homes, businesses and entertainment.”
“We are excited about Wheeler Street Station,” said City Manager Bill McDaniel, who is overseeing negotiations. “Right now, the city-owned property is a blight—a chain-link fence around a concrete lot, unsightly and uninviting. This unique project will transform it into something beautiful and useful, bringing more life to downtown.”
The Wheeler Street Station’s first floor will house businesses; the second and third floors will house The Lofts at Wheeler Street Station—apartments with high ceilings, upscale appointments and modern amenities such as smart technology controls for security, high-SEER air-conditioning units, energy-saving appliances, low-E insulated windows and, possibly, electric car–charging stations. Businesses already have indicated intent to potentially lease: Bank of Tampa, Plant City Economic Development Corporation, a day spa/salon, and a neighborhood grocery and market featuring locally sourced seafood, meats and produce. Space for restaurants with wide sidewalks for café-style dining will be available.
The partners hope to break ground in six to eight months, subject to final negotiations with the city, with a goal of completing the project within 24 months. “We’re working with the city to make this successful for all parties,” Jemison said. “It’ll enhance downtown, increasing its draw as a destination for Plant City residents and visitors. Wheeler Street Station will be a new, old building that looks like it has always been there, but with modern amenities. I think it will become a flagship building in the heart of our beautiful downtown and a big win for Plant City.”