Home / Health and Science / Marion County reaches agreement on new tech park

Marion County reaches agreement on new tech park

By

Marion County commissions voted unanimously Tuesday to give approval to an agreement for a science and technology park.

Tuesday’s vote is the final confirmation of a developer’s agreement the commission originally approved in April. The project was recently refinanced, and this new approval places Marion County first in line to recoup any funds should the project go into default, according to the Ocala Star-Banner.

The first phase of the park will be located in a 150-acre area near I-75 and County Road 318.

The Star-Banner’s story cited some details from the agreement:

Under the agreement, Siemens can build up to 258 units of apartments and townhouses on 32 acres, use 10 acres for a 220-room hotel, set aside 13 acres for 100,000 square feet of commercial or retail space such as a grocery store and establish a research and development center covering up to 950,000 square feet on 97 acres.

Scott Siemens, project director, said that this type of agreement is standard for developments like this.

“In many municipalities, when a land-use change is approved, there are quite often conditions of approval,” he said.

The park with be a “live, work, play campus,” said Siemens.

Siemens plans for the park to bring higher-paying science and technology jobs to Central Florida.

The Siemens Group chose the specific area of land because of its location and ability to benefit Alachua, Levy and Marion counties, said Siemens. The group is also based in Marion County.

Now that the agreement has been reached with county commissioners, the developer will meet with zoning and planning officials. Siemens said the land-use change only allows what has been agreed on in the approval, but still has to go through an engineering approval project.

Siemens said this could take a year, but hopes to speed up the process. He would like to go through the permitting process and simultaneously design the buildings, which could cut the time down to four months.

“We are ready and willing as well as Marion County to fast-track what we would have to do for any potential client that comes along,” he said.

About Jensen Werley

Check Also

Diane Spicer, a pathologists’ assistant and the current caretaker of the Van Mierop heart collection, sorts through a few of the hundreds of jars that compose the archive housed at the UF Health Shands Hospital. The collection, which receives minimal funding, acts as an educational tool for medical personnel and a research opportunity for pathologists worldwide. (Brittany Valencic/WUFT News)

The Van Mierop Heart Archive at UF Struggles to Keep Beating

One of the largest collections of donated hearts, UF's Van Mierop Heart Collection is running low on space and funds.