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Saturday, May 21, 2022

Downtown Ocala construction progress update

Construction throughout downtown Ocala has been progressing at a rapid pace as the city undergoes an immense commercial and residential boom.

Mellow Mushroom has been making brisk progress on their location, with crews having already erected the first floor of the building. The building, which replaced the old Brother’s Keeper Thrift Store after it was demolished, will house an additional restaurant and rooftop bar on its second and third levels.

Mellow Mushroom in downtown Ocala as of Sunday July 11 2
Mellow Mushroom construction in downtown Ocala as of Sunday, July 11, 2021

Mutiny is nearing completion of its new business in downtown. The business will bring the first pirate-themed bar to the Ocala area. Crews have been working rapidly to construct the interior. According to the company, the bar will be connected to its sister bar next door, Tipsy Skipper.

Mutiny Pirate Bar in downtown Ocala as of Sunday July 11 2021
Mutiny Pirate Bar in downtown Ocala as of Sunday July 11 2021

Additionally, both Symmetry Cafe and Cantina Tex-Mex Restaurant and Tequila Bar are working on their downtown Ocala locations in hopes of opening later this year.

Across the tracks, Reilly Arts Center is making lightning fast progress on a project they started just this past Spring. The new black box theatre project is across the park from Tuscawilla Artpartments, which are currently preregistering clients.

Not all of the downtown projects have been moving along as quickly.

District Kitchen and Bar, which plans to replace the shuttered Pi on Broadway, delayed a grant request earlier this year. The property is still working on coming into compliance before moving forward.

Pi on Broadway remains vacant as of Sunday July 11 2021
Pi on Broadway remains vacant as of Sunday July 11 2021

Both the One Fort King and Watula South townhome projects that will bring additional residential housing to downtown Ocala have been slow to get off the ground. At a recent networking meeting, Ocala City Manager Sandra Wilson indicated that Watula South was still working through issues, but was still on track to open across from City Hall.

Earlier this month, Brick City Lofts and Shops received approval to start construction on their new location in downtown Ocala.