IRB Commission Hears Study By USF on “Triangle” Future
By Leo Coughlin
INDIAN ROCKS BEACH – Doing something about the “triangle,” the “business district,” the “gateway to the city” is a theme that will not die here.
Much talk over the years, very little has been done.
Now it is back for another re-run, this time after a study and “visioning” by researchers at the University of South Florida.
The City Commission heard a presentation of the study March 26 from Trent Green of USF, who headed the research team. The work also involved participation by IRB residents who put in their two cents worth.
One of the things heard was the idea of having the look of a Key West style. Why this keeps coming up is a mystery. The same sort of thing has been heard in Largo, too, as it grapples with ideas of perking up its downtown.
“What’s wrong with a ‘west coast of Florida’ look?” one citizen commented. “What’s all this Key West stuff about?”
Indian Rocks Beach used to have a very definite flavor all its own. With the triangle, however, whoever develops it is dealing with a tabula rasa.
There was not much new in the USF study, which cost $55,000 of which the Action 2000 group which chipped in $25,000.
As was talked of before, the idea is to have a mix of residential and small retail in the area. Work to achieve something there was begun as long ago as when Eric Meserve was the city manager. A park was developed, and some clean up done. Then all of that sputtered and fizzled into nothingness.
One suggestion, made here years ago, was to have the Rouse Company, which notably perked up the Faneuil Hall area in Boston and the Harborside in Baltimore, take it in hand and on a much miniaturized scale do what was done in those cities.
The themes of leisure, entertainment, shopping, and perhaps utilizing the water (Intracoastal Waterway) along one side of the triangle with docks to attract boaters have been advanced.
Obviously, finding money to get any kind of triangle project off the ground is the first order of business. In that respect, there couldn’t be a worse time to think about getting something started.
If the current hoopla gets beyond the talking stage, that would be the greatest improvement of all in a perennial discussion that never seems to go anywhere.
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