The heat of a late summer day didn't deter the crowd who turned out in droves to celebrate yet another exciting announcement from the Town of Forest City. With his back to the construction site, Mayor Holland recounted the path that lead to the town's highly anticipated development of property left vacant when the mill closed down in 2001. The town purchased the property in 2004 but the site remained virtually unchanged until last year when they demolished several structures and the vision of 'The Park' began to take shape.
Reflecting on the changes that have taken place over the past few years, Mayor Holland shared his enthusiasm about what the future holds for Forest City. "We've got developers looking at the mill. Everybody's kind of waiting on this park to see what happens here, and I think that will be a big selling point for the Florence Mill," Holland explained. With completion projected to take about nine months, Mayor Holland predicts the park's spring opening will "Change the history of Forest City."
The amphitheater will be the focal point of the park and will accommodate up to 1,000 lawn seats for concerts and special events. A three tiered water fountain will welcome visitors coming into the park from the main street entrance. The 2,500 square foot interactive, pop-jet styled splash pad is sure to delight the kids and can be converted into a dance floor or dining area depending on what type of event is being held. TP Smith Construction of Forest City is the contractor and Odom Engineering, also of Forest City, was the lead designer with Knight Strategies, Architecture Unlimited, and AE Global assisting in coming up with the beautiful design.
Thoughtful and responsible handling of the Town's revenue have enabled them to fund the $3.5 million project without raising taxes.
On the heels of a very successful car show and recent announcement of the purchase of 171 Main Street, (formerly Ace Hardware) the face of Forest City is changing. Mayor Holland says, "If you have not experienced downtown Forest City recently, I recommend that you come and visit."
You'd better get there early though, if you want to find a parking space.