75 F
Monday, July 12, 2021

Additional lofts keep downtown Ocala residential, commercial space growing at unprecedented rate

With the additional construction of 16 new lofts and commercial space, downtown Ocala continues to be in the midst of a commercial and residential growth boom.

Ocala City Council members recently approved a developer’s agreement with Brick City Lofts & Shops for a new set of residential units and almost 9,000 square feet of commercial space to be constructed along the 400 block of SE First Avenue.

Brick City Lofts and Shops
Brick City Lofts and Shops will bring 16 new lofts and nearly 9,000 sq. ft. of commercial space to downtown Ocala

The lofts and shops are one of a slew of new and ongoing construction projects that continue to change the face of downtown Ocala.

Those projects include Tuscawilla Artpartments, which are currently preregistering interested tenants, and Lamplighter Legacy Apartments, which will bring over 100 additional dwelling units to the downtown Ocala area.

Earlier this year, Ocala City Manager Sandra Wilson indicated that the Watula South project, which is directly across from Ocala City Hall, is still in planning stages.  

One Fort King’s series of row homes is scheduled for construction this year at its downtown Ocala location, which is across the street from La Cuisine.

In addition to the residential projects, a collection of businesses have constructed or renovated spaces in downtown Ocala in the past few months.

Symmetry Cafe and Soleil Confections are constructing a new cafe that they hope to have open this fall.

A new multi-level building will feature Mellow Mushroom on the first floor, another restaurant on the second floor, and a roof top bar on the third floor. That project, which has been ongoing for the past couple of years, has made swift progress in recent months.

Cantina Tex-Mex Restaurant and Tequila Bar is currently under construction at a new downtown location, and Mutiny, a pirate-themed bar, is hoping to open its newly renovated space sometime later this year. 

The District Kitchen and Bar is still working on renovating the space that was formerly occupied by Pi on Broadway. The group behind the project delayed a grant request earlier this year.

Last year, the Thirsty Cobbler, the Loft, the Anti-Monopoly Drug Store, and the Tipsy Skipper all opened locations in downtown Ocala.

In 2019, the Black Sheep on Broadway, Bank Street Patio Bar, and Big Hammock Brewery opened across the downtown Ocala area.

Not to be outdone by their brick and mortar counterparts, multiple food trucks have found homes in the downtown area through the Ocala Downtown Market Place. The market hosts weekly farmer’s market events, as well as a variety of food trucks throughout the week.

What types of new development would you like to see in downtown Ocala or other parts of the city? Share your thoughts in a letter to the editor.