It’s just a vacant field right now, with a big boat on it.
But by this time next year, the southeast corner of U.S. 19 and Citrus Avenue in Crystal River will be Town Square Park.
“We think it will be a game-changer for the downtown area,” Crystal River Mayor Joe Meek told the Chronicle editorial board recently. “It’s not just a discussion anymore, but actual action.”
Construction is set to begin in November, right after the annual Stone Crab Jam wraps up.
Construction is estimated to take about six months.
When completed, the town center will feature a fountain, raised planter and seawall, flagpole, covered shade structures and a trolley stop, all surrounding an event lawn.
It also features a boardwalk into the wetlands to the east of the property, restrooms, room for a portable stage, information kiosks and nearby parking.
Spirit, the Civil War-era scow replica built by the Crystal River Boat Builders that is currently on display on the property, will be moved to another location in the city.
The price tag for Phase One of the project: $650,000, which Crystal River City Manager Ken Frink said will be paid with funds from the city’s reserves.
“We see the town center as a very active, central part of the city’s festivals and events,” Meek said.
He added that some of the businesses in the nearby area on Citrus Avenue are also making some renovations and improvements, and that Florida Department of Transportation has plans for landscaped traffic-calming medians on U.S. 19.
“You’re going to see that whole area transformed,” Meek said.