The concept design plan for Hercules Park renovations is being updated to include public requests for restrooms, artwork, educational signage, a retention pond, and Wi-Fi, among several other features such as playfields and pathways.
Initial design plans for a BMX bike track were not well-received during a workshop, so that piece is being removed from the scope, according to Gail Hamilton, director of the Zephyrhills Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA).
The 12-acre park property is at the corner of County Road 54 and Gall Boulevard, next to Zephyrhills High and Woodland Elementary schools.
Hamilton provided an update on the CRA’s activities in a number of areas during the agency’s last meeting. The Zephyrhills City Council serves as the board of the CRA.
The CRA is a dependent special district in which any future increases in property values are set aside in a Trust Fund to support economic development and redevelopment projects within the designated district.
The Zephyrhills CRA redevelopment district is approximately 501 acres. It encompasses the center spine of the city, generally between Hercules Park to C Avenue, and from Zephyr Park to 17th Street. Within those boundaries are the following historic neighborhood districts: Hercules, Historic Jeffries, Historic Abbott, Moore’s Estate, Zephyr Lake, Oakside, and Plaza.
Other notable updates on activities within the district were shared during last month’s meeting. They include:
- A CRA commercial matching façade and signage grant totaling up to $6,000 has been approved for Tara Hornbeck, doing business as Mulligan’s Tavern, at 5420 Gall Blvd.
Upgrades for the new Irish pub are slated to feature an aluminum frame cloth awning by the front door entrance, as well as replacement of rotted windows and doorframe.
The building was formerly the home of Salsa’s Mexican Grill, which has been closed for more than a year, Hamilton said.
Several other improvements outside the grant’s scope also will be completed — including parking lot repaving and landscaping — at the restaurateur’s expense. “We will have a nice looking building when it’s all said and done,” Hamilton told CRA Commissioners.
- A $5,000 CRA residential ownership incentive grant has been approved for Elis Jose Burgos-Berrios, at 4929 16th St.
The grant’s purpose is to encourage home purchases within distressed neighborhoods as a catalyst to improve the owner-occupancy rate and neighborhood, one street at a time.
The grant requires Burgos-Berrios to file a homestead exemption on the property for five years.
Burgos-Berrios is a city employee, tasked with maintaining the city’s Oakside Cemetery, at 5301 First St.
- Public Wi-Fi now is installed for Fifth Avenue, but the CRA is working with a consultant and the city’s IT department on developing a website landing page that Main Street will eventually oversee.
- Zephyrhills Public Works has installed a slew of black benches throughout downtown, matching the color scheme of trash cans, signs and poles.
• The CRA has partnered with Main Street and public works to install blue Adirondack chairs (made of recycled plastic water bottles) attached with concrete slabs at Transplant Park, a pie-shaped area at 12th Street and Fifth Street. A neighborhood happenings sign promoting downtown parades and events also will be installed at the pocket park.
Published July 28, 2021