Adding to the growing number of rentals downtown, Broadway Realty Services wants to turn a city-owned block just north of its NoBay project (photo) from 125 parking spaces into 100 apartments. The company wanted a quick sales process, but the Community Redevelopment Agency advisory board opted for the lengthier procedure of seeking qualifications from all interested buyers.
The meticulous process of moving a Confederate monument from Munn Park to Veterans Park is scheduled to start March 26, a Tuesday; the statue should be in place on its pedestal by April 4, with cleaning and pressure washing finished by April 17, city officials said.
ALSO IN THE MORNING PAPER:
BOYS, GIRLS CLUBS: Polk’s two and Boys and Girls Club organizations are have merged and fall under the leadership of new CEO Steve Giordano of Brandon.
STUCK TRUCK: The road under the rail overpass just north of Lake Beulah was blocked for more than two hours Friday morning by a truck that became lodged there. The concrete structure suffered no apparent damage.
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