The City of Ocala was named a winner at the 2023 Florida Redevelopment Association (FRA) awards ceremony.
During the annual ceremony, the city’s Mary Sue Rich Community Center at Reed Place (1821 NW 21st Avenue in Ocala) received a Roy F. Kenzie Award in the category of Outstanding New Building Project.
The FRA, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting Florida professionals and volunteers engaged in community redevelopment initiatives, annually bestows awards that acknowledge the remarkable achievements of various organizations and programs throughout the state.
The Roy F. Kenzie Awards commend excellence across diverse categories, encompassing everything from rehabilitation renovation and management programs to cultural enrichment and housing.
Community Redevelopment Agencies and development organizations seek to enhance cities and urban areas through redevelopment initiatives. These organizations are overseen by boards of five to seven members, which are separate from local governments, and they focus on projects that promote economic development, growth, and increased community engagement.
Aubrey Hale, City of Ocala Planning Director, stated that the Mary Sue Rich Community Center at Reed Place is a “symbol of perseverance.” Hale attributes the success of the site to “community champions working with city staff to convert an area that was contaminated due to a previous charcoal plant, to an area where the community can gather, play, and thrive.”
Hale further highlighted that the center provides “invaluable programming” and access to a wide variety of arts. “The Mary Sue Rich Community Center at Reed Place fills a great need for the area and will only promote growth as time goes on.”
The Roy F. Kenzie Awards consist of a dozen juried categories that celebrate the most innovative and effective redevelopment programs in Florida. All entries for the FRA Awards undergo a thorough assessment and evaluation, considering factors such as effectiveness, completeness, narrative quality, creativity, supplemental materials, and adherence to the submission guidelines.
To learn more about the FRA Awards, visit the Florida Redevelopment Association’s website.
For more information about the Mary Sue Rich Community Center at Reed Place, visit the City of Ocala Recreation and Parks Department’s website.