By Marie Gilmore
On the heels of yet another Park Square Town Center business closing, this time the Park Square Prime Smokehouse following Park Square Pizza in November and the FishHawk Y Express in October, residents are ready to rally to continue community events and support what businesses remain in the plaza.
The group, Take Back Park Square, which started in early January, gathered support via its Facebook page and came out in force to the January CDD II meeting held at the Palmetto Club.
At the meeting, the first to speak on behalf of the group, Brittney McCall explained, “Our group, Take Back Park Square, was created to enhance the neighborhood.” She asked for CDD approval to host a Second Saturday Entertainment Series event each month at the park.
“We would like the board to provide the insurance for these events and to waive the cleanup fee. In return, our group will plan the entertainment,” she said. Events such as concerts, corn hole tournaments, movie nights and festivals were suggested.
Four-year FishHawk resident Kaliym Islam agrees with the idea and wants the square to be a family-friendly environment.
“We moved here because of the amenities, the pizza shop, the fountain and we have been very disappointed to see business after business fail,” Islam said. “What can we do to work together to maintain a vibrant, working retail environment?”
The Park Square Town Center retail plaza is privately owned but the surrounding park, paths, fountains, restrooms, parking lots, trash areas and T.V. area are all owned by the CDD.
District Attorney Biff Craine said, “Park Square has not developed with the consistency that the developer had hoped.”
Board member Ruth Brown asked for clarification of who pays for staffing of events held at the Park Square currently. She welcomed residents to attend the upcoming HOA meeting on Tuesday, February 2 at 6:30 p.m. at the Palmetto Club to further discuss event staffing.
After over an hour of discussion, Brown made a motion to approve the Saturday, March 12 event and to waive the deposit and the staffing fee for the first event and agreed to continue working with the group for finalizing of future dates.
Group organizers left satisfied that at least one event was approved but said they are eager to continue to push for more support for Park Square events. For more info, visit www.fishhawkcdd.org.