Central Florida Development bought its first County Line Road property in 2004 after a friend asked Richard LeFrois if he’d heard about Lakeland. “I flew down the next weekend and things just felt right, like it was the right environment to expand the business.” Expansion was scarce during the recession but took off after Lakeland became seen as a logistics hub.
Randy Borden bought a distinctive, mid-century building in downtown Lakeland to house two of his dreams: a video news-and-information service about Lakeland and a performing arts venue for shows attracting up to 200 people.
A video by Catapult members Jamie Clemens and Caleb LB Randall looks at damage inside the Cash Feed building on Lake Mirror caused by Hurricane Irma. That damage has forced the Lakeland Economic Development Council to abandon its plans to convert the 1924 building into a new home for the Catapult Lakeland small business incubator. Next step: The Lakeland Historic Preservation Board meets next Thursday to consider the LEDC’s request to demolish the building. Project manager Wesley Beck told The Ledger that LEDC hopes to build a new structure for Catapult on the 502 E. Main Street property, perhaps emulating Cash Feed’s Mediterranean architecture.
A Lakeland sports bar is getting its 15 minutes of fame this week. On Thursday, the Orlando Weekly picked up on a recent Instagram photo and a year-old News Channel 8 report noting that Winners Circle owner Bill Alcock has placed decals of Colin Kaepernick’s jersey in the bar’s urinals — kind of like target practice for those who disagree with the quarterback’s National Anthem stand — um, kneel. That same day Ledger Editor Lenore Devore targeted the bar with a dining review (2 stars for food, 1 for service, 3 for ambience) that complained of skimpy bacon and skimpier service. We’re not sure how Winners Circle feels about the attention, but they probably relate to an old saying: “I don’t care what they say about me; just make sure they spell my name right!”
AIRPORT: The NOAA Hurricane Hunters were attracted to Lakeland Linder because of the city’s ability to build their HQ quickly to spec and the presence of aviation schools.
JBT: As citrus shifts, the processor diversified, modernized and deepened ties to local colleges.
PUBLIX: Lakeland’s favorite grocer still leases most of its stores, but it has doubled the number of locations it owns to about 300 since 2010.