Winter Park City Commissioners Assess Effects of Buying Property Including Austin’s Coffee, Vine & Forks


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  • Photo by Jessica Bryce Young

Previous reports on the future of Austin’s Coffee seemed bleak. The Winter Park City Commission appeared determined to buy the stretch of Fairbanks Avenue on which the longtime store sits and raze it to make way for a lane of traffic.

However, it looks like the commission is slowing down a bit as it worries about its obligations as owners of properties that have current leases on the lots.

At a recent commission meeting, city officials expressed doubts about the management of the property in the immediate future.

“We haven’t sent anyone to these facilities to see if there are any code issues. I heard anecdotally that there were some of them, ”City Manager Randy Knight told the meeting. “Some of them could be much nicer. (Oh, the shadow.)

The meeting agenda indicated that Winter Park had little to no experience as a restaurant owner.

“City staff do not have significant experience as landlord in the traditional sense,” he said, before addressing the potential problems of traditional landlord-tenant relations. “The city would have public relations exposure whenever there is a tenant / landlord conflict.”

Commissioners asked city officials to consider their options for owning the current properties and whether they could terminate the leases earlier if they purchased the buildings. The oldest lease currently on the property runs until 2025, according to the Orlando Sentry.

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