Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Projects Progressing

Plans for four major projects under Plant City review

Plans for a large housing development, steel plant, commercial buildings and a bakery expansion have been submitted to the city.

The plans are under routine review by the city.

The proposed projects include:

• A 31,257 square-foot building proposed by Peninsular Steel on 10.7 acres at 4504 Sydney Road. The company will use the property for steel fabrication and storage. The land was formerly used for concrete manufacturing. Peninsular Steel plans to build four more buildings in phases through 2020.

• A 1,251-home development on 397 acres at...

Monday, November 16, 2015

Sandwich Selections

Our growing restaurant scene is getting a new addition.

Champaign, Illinois-based sandwich chain Jimmy John's is coming soon to Plant City.

They will occupy a spot in Walden Woods Village at the intersection of Jim Redman Parkway and Alexander Street.

Stay tuned for more info and opening dates...

Bargain Books

Library offers bargains at annual holiday book sale

Just in time for Christmas shopping, Bruton Memorial Library is holding its annual holiday book sale.

About 3,000 selections will be available, generally priced from 50 cents to $1 or $2, Adult Services Librarian Lisa M. Kreutter said. The sale is sponsored by the Friends of the Library.

“It’s an annual fundraiser for the library. Books make great gifts,” she said.

The sale will be noon to 6 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. until the books are gone on Saturday.  All the books are in good to excellent condition and include...

central public library image

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Dynamic Development

Plant City economic development group off to a fast start

The city has a bright future, thanks in no small part to a new organization to promote Plant City’s economic development, the group’s leader said.

“You stepped up in a big way,” Jake Austin said at the first board meeting of the Plant City Economic Development Corp.

Nearly 40 business owners, corporate executives and others who contributed to the not-for-profit were praised for both their support and their vision by Austin, who is the president and chief executive officer.

The meeting was held at Highland Packaging Solutions, where CEO Steve Maxwell predicted the organization will make a big impact in Plant City’s economic growth.

“I believe history will record this as a very monumental time in the history of Plant City,” he said.  Austin, with the group’s support, will court businesses to relocate or expand in Plant City.

City Manager Mike Herr said the city is trying to do its part to spark economic development, such as by...

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Sculpture Sequel ?

Downtown Plant City may see encore of bronze sculpture exhibit

Sculptures created by artist J. Seward Johnson are likely to be on display in and around downtown from Dec. 1 through mid-March.

The city is being asked to donate $6,000 to pay half the expenses for the display of the bronze sculptures. The Plant City Arts Council is sponsoring the display and has lined up donations to...

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Apex Available

Developer targets prime Plant City corner for retail, restaurants


A retail development in the works for a prime corner of Plant City could fill a "clear void in that market" if it comes to fruition.

WPG, the Tampa-based developer formerly known as Wagner Property Group, is under contract to buy the parcels that make up the Plant City Apex, a 7-acre triangular site at the intersection of Thonotosassa Road and West Baker Street, just south of the Interstate 4 interchange.

The majority of the site, except for a two- to three-tenant unanchored strip center, would be...


Friday, September 18, 2015

Gardening Gathering

Annual downtown Plant City festival to include plants, antiques and more

The roots of a Sept. 26 festival in downtown Plant City run deep in gardening.  But you don’t need a green thumb to enjoy the seventh annual GardenFest and More.

Sure, the festival will include a lot of plants for sale, but vendors and downtown merchants will also offer antiques and crafts.

The festival will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the historic train depot at 102 N. Palmer St. and the adjacent McCall Park.

“We think there will be something for everyone,” said Christy Linke, spokeswoman of the Plant City Garden Club.

GardenFest was founded by the Plant City Garden Club and the former Plant City Downtown Merchants and Business Association joined as a co-sponsor in 2012 because “not everyone is into gardening,” she said.

The association, now known as... photo

Fishing Fun

Kids can fish for fun and prizes at Plant City derby

Children ages 5 to 15 can win awards Sept. 26 at the Plant City Recreation and Parks Department’s biannual fishing derby.

There is no charge to participate in the derby but children must be accompanied by an adult. They must also bring their own pole and bait and a 5-gallon bucket to keep fish alive until they can be weighed and released.

The derby will be held in a pond off Gordon Food Service Drive, behind Plant City Stadium.

Competition will be held from...

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Seeking Staffers

Chamber needs volunteers for tourist info center

For many motorists, their first impression of Plant City comes at the Tourist Information Center south of Interstate 4.

The center’s volunteers hand out brochures and maps and otherwise greet visitors from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week, except for New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. The center is a bit shorthanded these days, and the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce is appealing for volunteers.

The volunteers don’t have to be experts on Plant City or its history, as most of the questions are... image

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Royal Recreation

Theme for 2016 Strawberry Festival announced

The Florida Strawberry Festival has announced the theme for its 81st annual event in 2016 as “Royal Fun for Everyone!” The 2016 festival will run from March 3-13 in Plant City.

“Our festival and the city of Plant City hold the strawberry in high regard,” said Strawberry Festival General Manager Paul Davis. “So we thought it would be fitting to play off of that with a theme portraying the strawberry as royalty.”

A new theme is created for each year’s festival to offer patrons a glimpse of the experience they will have at the 11 day event. The “royalty” theme also...