After 6 Years, Downtown Alachua's Restoration is Coming Together
Published September 12th, 2013
ALACHUA - The future is now for the City of Alachua. A nearly 2 million dollar downtown renovation plan is making steady progress. It’s been in the works for seven years.
The renovation is designed to beautify downtown Alachua and at the same time create a master drainage project. The area near City Hall is known to flood easily during heavy rainfall.
A long- expected project. "We're actually very excited, we've been waiting several years for this to actually begin." Downtown Alachua's makeover has been at a standstill since it was first proposed in 2007.
However things are starting to come together. The Assistant City Manager, Adam Boukari says the project has taken a long time because it became more than just a facelift.
"You know at one point there was the drainage element and then there was the roadway portion and then we had a parking concern. So getting all those elements-- this could be one master project and pulling those together has taken some time and coordination. So that has taken a few years to make that happen," Boukari said.
It's been 23 years since Douglas Adel Family Dentistry has been in Alachua, they're neighbors of the project site.
Lisa Adele Dr. Douglas Adele’s wife said, "The people on the corners... The lions club, us and our neighbor across the street they did donate land when they were asked to do that. That just seems to be the way the city of Alachua works. When someone needs something everybody works together to her this accomplished."
The project costs 1.8 million dollars. The funds derive from this area and have to be used here as well.
Boukari said, "So this project is being funded through our community redevelopment agency and our agency gets about $400,000 a year in tax increment funds that would have typically gone to the county or the city and those funds can only be used specifically in this downtown district."
Skinner Field Park is temporarily closed for construction however everything will be restored and the project will be finished around February of next year. Something residents are looking forward to."
Joe Meyer an Alachua resident said, "We'll I am concerned about my money like everybody else is but you have to build and grow it’s like building a business and I think this is going to bring more people into the city. It's making them more aware that we have a recreational complex here."
Trash receptacles and gutters on the curbs will also be installed. The Assistant City Manager says the new set up will provide additional parking and make it easier to lure visitors.
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