Celebrated with a ribbon cutting event on November 15, 2022, the Northeast Third Avenue Project has officially reached completion!
Now, this area is part of the Pineapple Grove Arts District, which not only features local artist shops and galleries, but also the Arts Warehouse, a 15,000-square-foot warehouse conversion to an art incubator that supports small arts businesses, and is a catalyst for economic development and growth within the Pineapple Grove Arts District and the Community Redevelopment Area as a whole.
“For many years, the Northeast Third Avenue area was blighted and neglected, and one of the main challenges was flooding and no walkable space,” said Ivan Cabrera, CRA Redevelopment Manager. “Additionally, lighting and lack of sidewalks and parking was also needed. Through the years, artists moved to the area along with a few businesses. This area started to have some activity, however, the same challenges remained.”
So, back in 2011, the City started working on this project, which included Northeast Third Avenue and Northeast Third Street, and the Artist Alley. Through the years, this project has been in the hands of the City and CRA. In 2021, the City completed the improvements of Artist Alley, and the CRA included the Northeast Third Avenue Project in our FY2021-2022 budget.
The Project consists of design, permitting and construction of a full City right of way streetscape and infrastructure improvements. The streetscape improvements along this section of Northeast Third Avenue utilized existing City right of way space to provide a safe two-way traffic street, along with well-lit sidewalk pathways for pedestrian connections to area restaurants, workspaces and other local businesses. The project also included potable water, sanitary sewer and drainage upgrades. The intent was to provide unique design aesthetics with the goal of promoting the resurgence of an eclectic mix of art galleries, restaurants, and local boutique shops.
Visitors can now enjoy a well-lit street, no more flooding, enhanced sidewalks with ADA features and parallel parking on the street and parking lots. The sidewalks have a reflective and distinct feature that adds a sparkle at night, according to Cabrera.
“This project took approximately 11 years to complete. This was another great project partnership with the City and CRA,” said Cabrera, who hopes that the infrastructure improvements and street enhancements will attract businesses and visitors. “Businesses and residents of the area can enjoy a redeveloped and enhanced street.”
We can’t wait to have local and visitors alike enjoy this newly improved space and show our local artists some love!