Growth Watch

Brix & Mortar Urban Winery Poised to be Sanford’s First Wine Producer

Wine Bar

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Craft Explosion to Continue with Upscale Venue in Historic Downtown Sanford’s ‘Famous L’ For Daniel Valentine, wine is a family business. A local Central Floridian who attended University High School and the University of Central Florida, Valentine relocated to Wimberley, Texas in 2006, where over the last 13 years he has worked and learned the business at his father’s winery,...

Executive Cigar Shop & Lounge Continues Growth of ‘Cigar Scene’ in Historic Downtown Sanford


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Seminole County local Alex Setzer was having lunch at the famed Sanford restaurant Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Café last year with business partner Tom Darnell, where the two quickly discovered they both had a similar vision of bringing a high end cigar lounge to our rapidly expanding downtown scene. “I have fallen in love with Historic Downtown Sanford over the last...

Dees Brothers Brewery to Expand Historic Downtown Sanford’s Prominent Craft Scene

Craft Beer

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Sixth Craft Brewery to Keep Sanford’s Scene Hoppin! Benjamin and Michael Dees - the Dees Brothers - are excited to join the craft beer party in Historic Downtown Sanford. In December of 2018, after receiving the green light for build out of brewery operations from the City of Sanford, the brothers purchased the 1919 building located at 210 Magnolia Ave....

Marina Isle Waterfront Assisted Living on Sanford’s Marina Island Set to Open in New Year


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Construction of Marina Isle Waterfront Assisted Living, located on Sanford’s Marina Island, is reaching its final stage and looks to open its doors to 105 new Sanford residents by January 1, 2020. I recently spoke about the project with two members of the team -- Executive Director of Marina Isle Jody Moll and Vice President of Operations Stacy Hartley from...

Project Hollerblock Update – Expansion of Restaurant & Downstairs Bar on Schedule for November 2019


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In May, readers of's Growth Watch heard all about ‘Project Hollerblock’ and the $1.6 million expansion of the famed Sanford restaurant Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Café. These plans were ambitious, including our city’s very first rooftop bar. Often, and perhaps not unexpectedly, developers and business have their timelines pushed back due to various delays; we are very happy to report...

$28M Riverwalk Expansion in the City of Sanford to be Completed Spring 2021


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Sanford’s growth as a culinary and craft beer destination is garnering it attention, with droves of tourists flocking to our city. Huge hotel, restaurant, and economic projects grab the majority of the headlines, but comprehensive city growth also requires a commitment to infrastructure, public amenities, and quality of life upgrades – in fact, many economic studies show that communities that...

Orlando Attorney Mark Nation Plans New Orleans-Style Destination Restaurant & Distillery in Historic Downtown Sanford


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If you spend some time talking to prominent local attorney Mark Nation, you will discover quickly that he is a passionate man, and these days, the businessman is excited about Historic Downtown Sanford. Nation and his partners have purchased an entire city block of downtown, an area spanning south and west from 2nd Street & Oak Avenue to 3rd Street...

Henry’s Depot – Sanford’s Historic Train Station to Reopen as Culinary Collective


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Sean Kelley stands and surveys the spot where former U.S. President Grant dedicated the South Florida Railroad on January 10, 1880 and simultaneously considers the past and future of Sanford’s original rail hub.  Coming from a real estate background as the owner/broker of Saint Lawrence Title, Kelley was lucky enough to see the energy building in Sanford in the summer...