Starting Sept. 11, portions of Orange Street and Lake Avenue will close for three months so underground utilities can be connected to a new apartment complex being constructed across from Barnett Family Park.
The Orange Street Apartments will have a mix of 32 one- and two-bedroom units in four Craftsman-inspired buildings with 40 parking spaces.
Lakeland Communications Director Kevin Cook said in a news release that East Orange Street will be closed from Iowa Avenue to South Lake Avenue, and South Lake Avenue will be closed from East Orange Street to East Lime Street.
The closures are expected to last until Dec. 15.
Cook said the public will still have access to the west entrance to the Magnolia Building parking lot for Hollis Garden, Garden Bistro and the Magnolia Building.
The developers of the Orange Street Apartments are covering the costs of the utility work, Cook said. Most of the work will be performed by Tiger Contracting LLC, which is overseeing the project. The City of Lakeland water and wastewater crews will help to make the water and sewer infrastructure connections.
Julie Townsend, executive director of the Lakeland Downtown Development Authority, said the closures will affect the Lake Mirror Classic Car Show on Oct. 20-22 and the 42nd Annual Lakeland Christmas Parade on Dec. 7. Changes to the parade route will be announced closer to the event.
The Orange Street Apartments project is in the Garden District special public interest zoning area within the East Lake Morton Historic District. The site plan was approved in February 2021, but construction didn’t begin in earnest until February 2023 when the one-acre site was cleared.
Lewis has been posting project updates regularly on Facebook.
On Feb. 13, he shared a video of the site before the land was cleared.
In March, he explained why a retaining wall was needed, due to a 4-foot slope.
By June, the first floors of some of the buildings had been framed.
Earlier this month, he showed that three stories were built on three of the five buildings.
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