Citizen input sought on ways to improve New Smyrna Beach's key intersection of US 1 and Canal photo by Henry Frederick and video by Sera Frederick / The former Dunn Lumber building off the intersection of US 1 and West Canal was torn down in December 2010 and vacant since then.

NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- The city recognizes something needs to be done about improving the aesthetics of one of its key intersections: US 1 and Canal Street.

The community Redevelopment Agency will hold a meeting next Thursday in the City Commission Chambers, 210 Sams Avenue. Two hours have been set aside for citizen input beginning at 5 p.m.

The purpose of the meeting is to update area stakeholders and citizens on the progress of the project, share conceptual aesthetic treatment designs, and solicit design input, said Tony Otte, CRA director.

"This intersection is one of the busiest in the city," Otte said. "It's also an entrance into the Canal Street Historic District and the Historic Westside Community. It's a very important element in redevelopment of the community."

Planned improvements to the CRA property on the northwest corner of the intersection also will be discussed where the former Dunn Lumber building was before it was demolished.

The demolishing of the building in December 2010, was a major improvement for New Smyrna Beach's heaviest intersection with the Florida East Coast railroad crossing less than a hundred yards in on West Canal, city officials have said.

The City Commission in 2008, voted to authorize the Community Redevelopment Agency to spend $417,000 to purchase the former Dunn Lumber property at the city's key intersection, seen as the gateway to New Smyrna Beach's tourism route: Historic Canal Street and the Indian River to the east, along with tourist-trendy Flagler Avenue and the Atlantic Ocean, and to the west, State Road 44 corridor shopping and rural charm.

Commissioner Jim Hathaway questioned the need to pay so much, but then-Mayor Sally Mackay was adamant her colleagues not "quibble" over the cost. "It's the heart of our city," the mayor said. That is the center of New Smyrna Beach. It's where you live. It's where I live... I don't think we should quibble... The city needs to claim the center of this town."



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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet newspaper serving the Daytona Beach-Orlando metro area via, launched April 7, 2008, as Florida's first around-the-clock online newspaper. Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most experienced reporters with scores of regional, state & national journalism-industry awards for nearly 100 breaking news & investigative reporting stories in Florida, New York, Massachusetts & Connecticut.
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