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For decades, one property has dominated discussion in the City of Longwood unlike any other: Township Plaza. On Friday, March 5, 2021, the City of Longwood received exciting news that the property has officially been purchased by Dounia Development, Inc. The new owners have an exciting vision for what the property can be, including new retail and restaurant space as well as taking full advantage of the property’s beautiful and underutilized setting on the unique natural area of Island Lake. While the project concept is still very much in the early stages, the City is very excited about the developer’s overall vision for the site and looks forward to a formal submittal in the near future.
Please see the following statement from the Mnayarji family, the new owners of the property:
“The journey of obtaining the Township Plaza began in October of 2020 when Bassam Mnayarji was driving past the property on his usual route to Dunkin Donuts. However, this day was different--instead of keeping his blinders up, as most did when driving by, he noticed something very crucial to this project: potential. With a breathtaking lake behind the shopping center and hardworking, dedicated tenants in the shopping center, Bassam realized that he could not miss out on this opportunity to utilize the gifts the Township Plaza had to offer.
Bassam is the owner of a small, family business dealing with commercial development and brokerage, that he has successfully operated for 35 years here in Longwood. Our family was very hesitant to comprehend the value our father saw, but it did not take much convincing. As a longtime resident, Bassam and our whole family appreciated the cleanliness and safety of our community, but recognized that there was a personal aspect that was missing. Today, we have the chance to satisfy that missing piece with our new project: Longwood City Center.
After a few failed offers and negotiations, Bassam took to the City of Longwood for help. The City is a very important factor in this deal and without their help, we would not be writing this statement. We brought to them our ideas of community engagement and it was as if there was a combustion of joy in the room. The City met on the same playing field to establish this comradery within our community, and thus the engines began rolling in full speed.
On March 5, 2021, Dounia Development, Inc. officially obtained the property. Our family was working on the renovations and improvements not even one minute after the documents were signed. Our ideas of mixed-use buildings, a walkable area by the lake, a marina, a park and a fun environment for our community to come together began flying. We intend to use this property to plan community events and be a hub for the people of the City of Longwood. This project is an invitation to better our community, from our family to yours."