19 and Citrus Ave vacant lot

When work is completed this vacant lot will include a fountain, raised planter and seawall, flagpole, covered shade structures and a trolley stop, all surrounding an event lawn.

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.

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Contact Chronicle reporter Nancy Kennedy at 352-564-2927 or nkennedy@chronicleonline.com.

(8) comments

RBrazeal

Now this is positive progress! It’s an ideal location for a park and will be enjoyed by us locals and tourists alike. A very wise use of that property. Now if you will just please keep those water tankers off our streets!

CitrusCo Citizen

Excellent. Preserving and improving "green spaces" in a beautiful setting of the Nature Coast, rather than cementing it over with another impervious surface that creates more flooding on 19. Thank you! Please do the same with the now abandoned golf course, which was always actually a natural wetlands!

MichaelTrombley

This is a great idea. As we all know, malls are dying out and downtowns are thriving!

GlennF

Awesome Idea!!!The New Nautical Murals going up on Downtown Buildings give Crystal River The Look It Needed for Our Beautiful Gulf Coast Town. Looks Appealing and Makes People want to Venture into Local Businesses to take a Look at What's inside!

DNorton

Kudos to the mural painter! Looks great!

Phunkasaurus Wrex

Way to go Joe, it's about time the city through away a pile of money on a place for homeless to defecate.

CitrusCo Citizen

If homeless men (mostly vets) and women and sometimes children are a problem for you, then why don't you be "big" about it and help them out? Donate blankets or sleeping bags, clothing, medical and hygiene supplies, or even just a sandwich. Try to help them find jobs. Talk to them. Anything, rather than posting messages like this one. These are human beings! There but for the grace of god go you and I.

mountain man

Stay positive Mayor, the City is on the right track and you are doing a good job !!

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