wright building
The Wright Building is shown at 258 W. Voorhis Ave., with the African American Museum of the Arts behind it, fronting on South Clara Avenue, and the Dr. Noble “Thin Man” Watts Amphitheater across the street.

The DeLand City Commission and the Downtown DeLand Community Redevelopment Agency will hold a joint meeting Thursday, June 8, to discuss the latest updates to the plan to fix up two blocks of West Voorhis Avenue just off of the city’s main drag.

Originally selected as the best use of $600,000 in CRA reserve funds in 2021, the scope — and cost — of the project grew and grew until last November when a proposal to add a traffic circle, a raised intersection, wider sidewalks and historical markers resulted in a $2.8 million price tag. That’s when the city sent the contracted design firm, CPH, back to the drawing board to work out with community members what they really want to see in the project.

The two-block area of Voorhis Avenue has a rich history as a hub for Black entrepreneurship and culture in DeLand’s history. Long-ignored by CRA funding, community members saw the project as an opportunity to expand the foot-trafficked bounds of Downtown DeLand and address historic inequalities.

On June 8, the two city bodies will see the latest design proposals for the plan to spruce up West Voorhis Avenue from South Woodland Boulevard to the intersection at South Clara Avenue.

The goal of the June 8 meeting, Mayor Chris Cloudman said, is to “make some decisions on getting going and moving forward with that.”

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the City Commission Chambers at DeLand City Hall, 120 S. Florida Ave. Members of the public are invited to come and share their thoughts on the latest redesign of the project.

For more information, or to tune in to the meeting live as it happens, visit the city’s online meeting portal, HERE.


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