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BEACON PHOTO/JEFF SHEPHERD POSSIBILITIES — This view of the 200 block of West Voorhis Avenue, looking west, shows a street with an air of neglect. Although the area has been contributing to DeLand’s Community Redevelopment Agency fund since the CRA was created, it has not seen the benefit of CRA funds, which have largely been spent in the central core of Downtown DeLand.
BEACON PHOTO/JEFF SHEPHERD
POSSIBILITIES — This view of the 200 block of West Voorhis Avenue, looking west, shows a street with an air of neglect. Although the area has been contributing to DeLand’s Community Redevelopment Agency fund since the CRA was created, it has not seen the benefit of CRA funds, which have largely been spent in the central core of Downtown DeLand.

Plans for Downtown DeLand capital projects, from spruced-up parks to new signs, took a step forward thanks to an OK July 6 from the Downtown DeLand Community Redevelopment Agency.

In February, the City of DeLand invited DeLandites to take a survey to help staff decide how to spend some $600,000 in funds set aside for capital projects. The most popular option among 702 survey respondents was the streetscaping of Voorhis Avenue, which once served as a hub for DeLand’s Black community.

Other popular options included improving DeLand’s Sunflower and Painter’s Pond parks, and paving the overflow parking lot between East Rich Avenue and East Church Street.

With the parking-lot project design being handled by city staff, the CRA unanimously agreed July 6 to allow CPH Inc. to create design plans for a redesigned Voorhis Avenue and the two fixed-up parks.

With unanimous approval from the CRA, CPH will begin the design process for these projects. The design phase, city staff said, will help the city get a better understanding of what the final projects will look like and how much they will cost. From there, the CRA will have a final say on how to move forward with the Voorhis Avenue project and the two parks.

CPH will be seeking public involvement as well, Assistant City Manager Mike Grebosz said. The city and CPH will hold community-involvement meetings to gauge interest in the projects and guide development plans. No dates have been confirmed for these meetings as of July 7.

Seeking direction on signs

PHOTO COURTESY CITY OF DELAND
NEW SIGNS — Shown is a graphic representation of the approved design for Downtown DeLand’s new wayfinding signs. These signs, which city staff hope to have completed and out along Woodland Boulevard by the end of November, will direct pedestrians to businesses and restaurants off of the city’s main Downtown thoroughfare. The colors pictured are subject to change before the signs are placed. As for what businesses will be represented, city staff said the directories would be managed by the MainStreet DeLand Association.

Another Downtown DeLand project OK’d by the CRA was new wayfinding signs along Woodland Boulevard.

The CRA agreed on a design for new Downtown DeLand signs to help direct individuals toward businesses. With a design sporting the iconic dome of the Historic Volusia County Historic, the signs would include the names of businesses and an arrow directing cars and pedestrians down side streets.

Tentatively, 10 signs would be placed at intersections along Woodland Boulevard: one on Wisconsin Avenue, one on Church Street, two on Rich Avenue, one on Indiana Avenue, one on New York Avenue, one on Georgia Avenue, two on Howry Avenue and one on Voorhis Avenue.

The MainStreet DeLand Association will decide which businesses make it onto the signs, Grebosz said, and these plans will be implemented by the sign company Forsite. Colors for the signs have not yet been chosen, but the CRA unanimously approved the design of the signs and their  possible locations for the signs to be submitted for Florida Department of Transportation approval.

While city staff were uncertain about how soon the project would be finished, officials said the city would work to have the new signs completed in time for the DeLand Fall Festival of the Arts, planned for Nov. 20-21.

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