Central Florida leaders take tour of SunRail route

Author: Erik Sandoval, Reporter, esandoval@wkmg.com
Published On: Sep 13 2013 04:42:24 PM EDT   Updated On: Sep 13 2013 06:27:59 PM EDT
SunRail car
ORLANDO, Fla. -

While commuters wait for a way to dodge traffic, city leaders along the new SunRail route waiting for an economic boom.

[PHOTOS:  Reps. take SunRail route through Central Fla.]

U.S. Reps. John Mica and Lee Constantine on Friday journeyed through Central Florida via the SunRail route. The trek, taken on an Amtrak train, ran from DeLand to Kissimmee, making stops in Winter Park and Kissimmee.

Just as the rail system did when it was first developed, some are hoping the new SunRail stations will spawn new communities.

Business leaders and developers took a tour on Friday down the new SunRail route in Central Florida to see where the biggest economic opportunities are.

"Each station will have their own beautiful rendering or whatever they wanted to depict their station," said SunRail Project Manager Tawny O'Lore.

Once SunRail is up and running, new businesses that pop up around each of the first 12 stations could mean millions of dollars in economic growth.

The Florida Department of Transportation already estimates there's one-million square feet of possible development, which could make a big impact on communities along the way.

Communities like Longwood. City Commissioner Joe Dursol calls SunRail critical to the historic downtown.

"In the next 10-to-15 years, just the property around the Longwood station within a half mile will nearly double our total taxable value," he said.

If all goes well, in 30 years the 93 mile stretch of railway could help generate a quarter of a million jobs.