Day Park Rendering

The site of the former Diamond Street property destroyed by fire and a neighboring parking lot are set to transform into a green space that will include outdoor seating and maybe even a Christmas tree to rival the one in Rockefeller Plaza.

Representatives of local organizations, county officials, school district leaders and even the Titusville Police Chief gathered to hear Titusville Mayor Dennis Peden tell a story on Wednesday. It was a story of goals met and a green future.

Peden announced the creation of Day Park. The park will occupy the space where the 108-112 Diamond Street building once stood and a nearby parking lot. The building, which was destroyed by fire in 2018, was torn down over the summer.

Peden started Wednesday’s announcement with a little bit of the history of goals that Titusville City Council has been checking off its list.

He spoke of how the Diamond Street building “just sat there” after the fire. He credited City Manager Neil Fratus with establishing a relationship with the owner in order to move forward with the demolition of the building. The demolition was completed  using Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds.

The most recent work done at the site has involved removing glass from the front facade, according to Peden.

The second goal that council has crossed off the list is the signing of paperwork that officially transfers ownership of the former Pitt-Titusville property on Murdoch Boulevard from the City to K & R Land Development LLC. The new owners plan to start construction at the site on Monday. Townhouse apartments are planned.

With two goals crossed off it was time to add to the list, according to Peden. City leaders inquired about purchasing the parking lot that sits behind the Diamond Street property and the neighboring buildings that remain.

Peden said the owner of the parking lot also owns the “old Dunn building” located at 108-112 S. Franklin St. The owner, described by Peden as “the Day family, who owned a local business for 88 years, was willing to sell the adjacent parking lot along with the building. Peden added that the family was “very generous” with the price asked for the building. The park is being named after the family.

The City intends to then sell the building, according to Peden. “We already have four to five people who have expressed interest,” he said.

The parking lot will be torn up and used as part of the park. The park will include green space, period lighting, benches and seating, a mural and plans for a large Christmas tree for the holiday season. Ideas to add to the ambience are still in the works, according to Peden.

Fratus said “before the snow flies” the City is putting projects in the park out to bid. Those projects include work on the western wall of the building next to the site of the fire, finish work on the archways that will mark the entrance to Day Park on Diamond Street and tearing up of the parking lot.

Peden said the Day Park project will be funded with CDBG money and proceeds from the sale of the former Pitt-Titusville proerty.

Drumm can be reached by email at ldrumm@titusvilleherald.com.

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