It’s hard to count the number of downtown Ocala revitalization plans that have been undertaken over the years. Most have been trotted out amid much fanfare. But after some sprucing up here and there, they invariably have found their way onto some obscure shelf in City Hall unfulfilled.
The latest plan for downtown does not call for revitalization but rather “redevelopment.” Unlike its many predecessors, it is more detailed in its vision and bigger in its scope, and it has multiple pieces unfolding simultaneously. In short, this time the City Council, City Manager Matt Brower and his staff seem to be sticking to the plan. Collectively, they are committed to, in Brower’s words, “establishing a new game for downtown.”
The latest piece of the plan to be completed is the makeover of the downtown square. The square joins Citizens’ Circle as a venue for community and entertainment events, like the regular concert series the city has been holding at Citizens’ Circle and drawing solid crowds.