Downtown Lakeland to be redeveloped

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Reems Landreth

The City of Lakeland announced a plan which details the current outline for the redevelopment of Downtown Lakeland over the next few decades to increase the traffic of business and industry to the local community.

Starting in the western portion of the City of Lakeland, the updated Sports and Entertainment District will be highlighted by a 3,500 seat soccer stadium which will complement the RP Funding Center and will provide an outside venue for concerts, regional and state level sporting events and outdoor fitness competitions.

The stadium will have the potential to expand to 5,000 seats and will also have 20,000 square feet for a team office, concession space and a bar/restaurant. The first phase will also include 1,064 parking spots.

The second phase forsees the creation of a set of four-story buildings with over 90,000 square feet of commercial, retail and office space. Parking will be redistributed with the creation of a multi-story parking structure which will increase the number of parking spots by over 500.

The final phase of development in the Sports and Entertainment District will see the creation of six, four-story buildings totaling over 850,000 square feet of space for commercial, retail, office and residential space.

Heading a few blocks east, the development of the “underdeveloped” area between Sikes Boulevard and Florida Avenue will focus on creating a direct connection for the city to major roads and airports in the region.

The City of Lakeland is looking to partner with existing property owners to unlock the potential for the sub-district with the creation of two three-story parking garages to allow property owners to focus on the creation of over 750,000 square feet of office space spanning over 10 buildings.

The city is also looking to develop a promenade on Lime Street to encourage pedestrians to walk into the Sports and Entertainment district or to the Historic Downtown area.

Across Downtown Lakeland, a parking structure is projected to be built behind the Lakeland Police Department to help alleviate the parking congestion of the garage on Main Street. The City is also projected to develop five properties along Massachusetts Avenue between Main Street and Peachtree Street.

“Frances Langford Promenade is beautiful and historically renowned, the Massachusetts corridor and immediate area around Lake Mirror are riddled with potential to wow visitors and provide residents with alluring amenities if the right infrastructure is in place,” Cook said in a release by the City of Lakeland.

Properties 1 and 2 are on the corner of East Oak Street and the goal would be to create two four-story buildings zoned for a combined 120,000 square feet of mixed use.  Property 3 is located on the corner of Bay Street and Massachusetts Avenue and currently hosts the Gore building, which with a new parking lot, would become a 16,000 square foot commercial/retail space.

Property 4 is by the railroad crossing on Massachusetts Avenue with the goal of creating a 135,000 square foot office building to house almost 500 employees.  Property 5 is located on the corner of Cedar Street and the City hopes to create a hotel or residential building which will have views of Lake Mirror and the surrounding area.

For more information, visit lakelandgov.net or visit their Twitter, @lakelandgov.

 

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