City commissioners heard howls of protest last week when they were about to vote on a contract to sell 10 vacant acres near the LPD headquarters to a private developer. Most of the complaints weren’t as much about the terms of sale or the developer’s intentions as much as a perception that the deal was being rushed through before members of the public had a chance to understand the plans and comment on them.
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.
Two hours and forty three minutes after they began discussing the issue, the City Commission voted 4-3 today to wait two more weeks before deciding whether to sell 10+ downtown acres to a Tampa developer that wants to build 306 apartments and townhouses. And most of the people in the audience were happy for the delay.
A non-profit that makes instruments and music lessons affordable (link) aims to raise $120k to renovate a vacant dry-cleaning facility downtown into teaching studios.