SEBRING — Land for a planned housing development that never materialized may become the new home for Camper Corral, a year after lightning sparked a fire that damaged the business’ existing facility between Sebring and Avon Park.
R. Anthony Cozier, president of Camper Corral, said the potential new site became available after Highvest Corp. entered into an agreement to buy 80 acres of land — the former site of the housing development called Tuscany Village — just south of State Road 66 and U.S. 27.
Thirty acres of that site, which has been annexed into the city of Sebring, will be used for commercial development, while the remaining 50 acres will be used for a 300-site recreational vehicle resort, Cozier said.
In a written release, Cozier said, the new Camper Corral would be built on 10 acres of that site.
The location is prime for Camper Corral, considering the market it serves, he said.
“The company attracts service business from as far away as Okeechobee and Fort Myers, and this location would be better-suited for future and further development of the company,” Cozier said.
It was only a year ago that Cozier was forced to work out of a makeshift office in a camper after lightning struck his business, causing a fire that demolished the building housing the supply of parts for recreational vehicles. In anticipation of the move, Cozier has his property up for sale.
But, he said, it’s possible he would redevelop the property after Camper Corral relocated.
Cozier estimates it will be a year or more before the new facility would open because of the time involved in getting building permits and having utility services extended to the development.
Also included in the plans for the 80 acres is a shopping plaza that could include a bank, restaurant, supermarket and other businesses, he said.
The remaining 50 acres would be used for the R.V. resort, he said.
“The 300-site R.V. resort is planned in a unique design to give more spacious lots with plenty of green landscaped areas to ensure better privacy and attractiveness,” Cozier said. “Also, to accommodate and benefit a more active lifestyle, a great deal of attention has been focused on the recreational facilities.”
Carl Cool, an engineer for the project, told the Sebring City Council the developer will own the R.V. resort and that individual lots won’t be sold. That will ensure that the city will get tax revenue, as otherwise homestead exemption would come into play, he said.
Cozier said he developed the plans in light of that. “Highlands County is well situated to attract the ever growing population of retirees and the county has the infrastructure to build on to encourage them to choose to live here. The growth of service businesses will eventually bring the employees and professionals needed to sustain growth in the state of Florida,” he said.