Last week there was an overflow crowd of excited citizens listened to the presentation of the plans to replace the old outlet mall with an enormous new project. This project, known as The Lake District, would bring the largest single retail and housing development ever proposed to our city.
No one liked the property tax that was forced upon us by the previous administration and the same reception would hold true in the future. However, in the past two years your present administration has replaced all the antiquated ordinances and zoning that kept all retail companies from any interest in locating to Lakeland. These efforts to change how Lakeland is perceived have resulted in several successes in retail outlets locating to Lakeland. Retail that will help keep property taxes low. Stores like Sprouts, Burning Desire, Krystal restaurant and the new Starbucks currently being built just to name a few.
If the Lake District is built as presented and follows all our codes and ordinances it will be a welcome addition to our city and the envy of the entire county. This is the type project that is courted by communities throughout the nation. The Lake District will be the start of the type city we have planned. It will also be another step forward that your commissioners promised two years ago when the blueprint for a new Lakeland was laid out.
I look forward to the developers coming before the BOC as their formal plans are presented. Of course there will be the usual naysayers along the way such as Clay Bailey with the Commercial Appeal. But Bailey never seems to write anything positive about Lakeland anyway. For instance, Lakeland is already recognized as the number 1 community to raise a family in West Tennessee and we have the number 1 school system in the state as well. Eventually we will be copied as the way a city should be grown and developed.
I look forward to sharing more positive news about our city as it becomes available throughout the year.