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Lemon Grove Honors Past With New Downtown Promenade

Evoking images of the past, Lemon Grove is constructing a Downtown park and plaza.

The Main Street Promenade is a $4.9 million makeover of Main Street between North Avenue and Broadway in Lemon Grove. This area will feature a plaza, park, playground, amphitheater and several artistic pieces.

Aired 7/19/12 on KPBS News.

Evoking images of the past, Lemon Grove is constructing a downtown park and plaza. The Main Street Promenade is a $4.9 million makeover of Main Street between North Avenue and Broadway in Lemon Grove. This area will feature a plaza, park, playground, amphitheater and several artistic pieces.

Lemon Grove Main Street Promenade Site Plan
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Above: Lemon Grove Main Street Promenade Site Plan

With agriculture being an important legacy for Lemon Grove, City Manager Graham Mitchell said this was the inspiration to create a central area in the city.

“One of the challenges lemon grove faces is there’s not a central gathering place in the heart of our city and this project actually accomplishes that,” he said. “We will have a place right in our core of our downtown for people to spend time.”

Nature’s elements: sun, wind and water, will be on display once the promenade is completed in February 2013. Solar panel trees, windmills and water designs will be the functional interpretation of the city’s past.

Two windmills, visually contrasting each other by more than a century, will generate electricity for the area.

Lemon Grove Main Street Promenade Site Plan
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Above: Lemon Grove Main Street Promenade Site Plan

Businesses on the West side of Main Street were purchased, demolished and relocated in order to create the new gathering place, said Mitchell. There is a new development construction with a 56-unit mixed-use project called Citronica One that will include retail and up to five stories of affordable housing.

Mitchell said the plans are to use the promenade to its full potential by also accommodating for farmer’s markets and concerts.

“We are hoping to make this a gathering location within the city with some activities that are going on, not just having an open space, and hopefully it will be filled,” he said. “There will be activities and will help drive people to this place.”

Funding for the project comes from: $400,000 in city redevelopment funds, $1.9 million grant from SANDAG and $2.6 million in a state grant.

This is the last project using redevelopment tools, Mitchell said.

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