TAVARES — Demolition of six buildings in downtown Tavares is expected to begin next week to prepare for the construction of a new 1,500-space parking garage and a two-story building that will house offices for Lake County's Property Appraiser and Tax Collector.
Of the six buildings slated for demolition, four are located in the city block bound by Main and Maud streets and Sinclair and Texas avenues. Two buildings located just to the north of this city block, across Maud Street, are also scheduled to be demolished.
To ensure the safety of the public, Maud Street, from Texas to Sinclair avenues, will be closed beginning on the evening of Friday, Dec. 7, and will remain closed until the demolition project is complete, which is expected in four to six weeks. Additional safety measures being taken are the entire project area will be fenced off and signs will be posted to discourage trespassing. Once the demolition process is finished, Maud Street will reopen and temporary parking will be made available until the construction phase is scheduled to begin. At that time, the portion of Maud Street will permanently close as the parking garage is slated to be constructed on top of it.
"The closure of this scheduled demolition area will impact the already limited downtown parking availability," wrote County Manager Cindy Hall in a memorandum to employees. "To ensure the public has adequate access to all government agencies and that employees having parking within a reasonable walking distance I am implementing parking procedures effective close of business on Friday, Dec. 7."
Some of the changes that will increase parking space availability for the public include employees prohibited from parking on streets around downtown County buildings, various County-maintained vehicles will be parked further away from the County Administration Building behind the Public Records Center and some parking areas around the administration building that were previously designated for employees will be used for public parking.
For a map of detailed parking locations in downtown Tavares, log on to www.lakecountyfl.gov.