Stumps remain from two towering Oriental sweetgum trees that city crews began removing today from the sidewalk along north Kentucky Avenue downtown. Roots were infiltrating water and sewer lines and buckling sidewalks near the fronts of Mitchell’s Coffee House and Lakeland CBD Wellness. The stumps will be removed in the next two weeks, making way for the planting of young, urban-friendly trees.
The much-debated city saga of the fate of the 109-year-old Confederate monument in Munn Park continues to drag on: most recently, a U.S. District Court judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by groups and individuals who want it to stay put.
City Attorney Tim McCausland said Tuesday afternoon he and City Manager Tony Delgado will brief city commissioners soon so that they can decide how and when to proceed..
In November, commissioners voted to move the statue by Jan. 31 using money the city draws in from the use of red-light cameras to pay for the monument to be relocated. Plans were to pay an estimated $225,000 to move it to Veteran’s Memorial Park and install security measures.
But the day after the final city vote, a group called Save Southern Heritage filed a federal lawsuit to stop the city from moving the monument. The group was joined by other individuals and some Confederacy-related organizations in suing Delgado and several commissioners.
Jon and Sarah Bucklew’s planned artisan food hall in the old Lakeland Brewing building faced some delays, but construction is proceeding. They’re still not ready to reveal which food vendors and brewer will be there.
A lawsuit is slowing, but not halting, preparations to move Lakeland’s Confederate monument from Munn Park to Veterans Park, City Attorney Tim McCausland told city commissioners this morning. More
City Commissioner Stephanie Madden is partial to The Bean, a coconut-and-coffee-flavored blonde ale brewed by Swan Brewing Company and served at its beer garden on Lake Wire. She is even more a fan of what the craft brewery and taproom has done for an out-of-the-way corner of downtown Lakeland.
“I have been a big fan of Swan Brewing, and they really were trailblazers. I think they have done a lot for that area. I’m so excited when I see folks parked all along the lake, enjoying that beautiful scene,” she said.
Updated Jan. 2. Lakeland’s downtown has seen a surge in new restaurants, with six opening in the last year alone. It’s getting harder to find an empty storefront near Downtown’s Munn Park, but easier to find parking, thanks to a new valet system.
Julie Townsend, executive director of Lakeland Downtown Development Authority, says that lots of restaurants seem interested in moving downtown, and that’s a good thing. “Most of the businesses that are looking in downtown right now are restaurants,” Townsend says, “which is wonderful. We want to have a cluster of restaurants so that people see downtown as a destination for dining. We want them to come downtown and then decide where to eat, instead of picking a restaurant and then driving to that destination … The more restaurant choices you have and types of cuisine to choose from, the better for the district.” More
In the months since the Lakeland City Commission began talking about increasing the height limit on multi-family buildings in the historic Lake Morton neighborhood’s Garden District, developer Baylis Consulting put together plans for a 54-foot-tall, 40-unit apartment building.
But the developer cannot start construction of the contemporary-style building until city commissioners decide whether to amend an ordinance that would raise the building height limit from 40 feet to 60 feet. More
The city still has plans for a food truck park in Midtown, however after a seven-month delay another company has stepped in to help develop the project on a half-acre, city-owned site at the northwest corner of North Massachusetts Avenue and East Parker Street.
The concept is to provide food trucks, craft beer and public events – at least 12 a year – in a family-friendly, backyard-style setting that includes an indoor-outdoor performance venue and a 2,500-square-foot building with restrooms and a bar.
While there is space for four food trucks, the company expect to have one or two onsite daily, Alis Drumgo, CRA interim manager, told city commissioners when they gathered Friday morning for committee meetings and an agenda study session. More