Communication Builds Our Community

Message from Lake Wales Main Street Executive Director

Hiring Engineer First Step in Downtown Revitalization

Can you see it? Can you feel it? Something's in the air and although the holidays are fast approaching, I am specifically referring to the Dover Kohl "Lake Wales Connected" downtown revitalization plan that focuses our resources and attention to rejuvenating downtown.

To keep connected, let's talk about what has happened since the Aug. 13 town hall meeting when Victor Dover unveiled the final plans. In full-speed-ahead mode, Lake Wales Main Street, Inc. posted on Nov. 15 the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for Engineering and Landscape Architecture Services for Phase I – Park Avenue. The RFQ includes one or more of the following: open space planning, analysis and design; development of landscape design guideline; renderings of proposed improvements; active and passive park design; streetscape planning, analysis and design; detailed design standards to implement the "city in a garden" idea; and design of gateway features.

Once under contract, the engineering firm will complete the drawings and specifications within six (6) months and it is anticipated that construction will begin on Park Avenue by the end of 2020. How exciting!!!

Surviving streetscape construction can be challenging; therefore, before the first shovel hits the ground, Lake Wales Main Street's goal and objectives will be to formulate a plan that will 1) increase the success of downtown businesses before, during and after the construction; 2) work with all of the key partners, including construction crew, engineering firm, Dover Kohl, and City staff; 3) minimize the impact on downtown merchants and businesses; 4) gather and explore strategies that will unite the merchants with the entire East Polk County community; and last but certainly not least, communicate, communicate, communicate.

As we take this bold next step, it is important to remember comprehensive change is incremental and evolves over time. This will require patience, vision, unity, leadership and sacrifice. The result is a revitalized downtown that embodies ideals that citizens of small towns have long stood for: a sense of place and community.

See you downtown!

Happy Holidays.

Karen Thompson

Find out more. Here's the link to the Lake Wales Connected Plan:

On Friday, Dec. 13 Downtown Lake Wales will become a winter wonderland! Lake Wales Main Street invites you to ring in the season with a holiday celebration in historic downtown Lake Wales at the 9th annual Make It Magical holiday event. Enjoy shopping in our sweet downtown and strolling in local shops, art and craft vendors with festive holiday decor while listening to live music. Free admission treats guests to crafts, activities, a visit with Santa and SNOW!! 5-8 p.m. For more event information email Stephanie @ [email protected]


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