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Palm Coast Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019 1 week ago

First apartments, next an 'entertainment district' in Town Center in Palm Coast

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Also, UNF's Medical Nexus proposal is not a done deal yet.
by: Brian McMillan Executive Editor

Apartments are under construction south and east of Epic Theatres in Palm Coast’s Town Center, but the activity isn’t stopping there. According to Jeff Douglas, an “entertainment district” is coming soon, featuring food, retail and office space, across the street from the theater.

Formal plans for the first phase of the entertainment district will be coming soon, Douglas said on WNZF’s “Free For All Friday” on Sept. 27.

“This time next year, we’ll have the Christmas lights up, and you’ve got a main street,” said Douglas, of Douglas Property and Development Inc. “When you have events [in Town Center], you’ll have a place to eat before and after, and bring your family.”

In addition to the entertainment district, Douglas said, the “arts core” will be moved to the west side of the lake, near City Hall.

The question remains where the University of North Florida’s proposed Medical Nexus would be located. But there are still hurdles to leap before that project will become a reality at all, according to state Rep. Paul Renner.

First, the Board of Governors needs to recommend the nexus at its Oct. 3 meeting. Then the Legislature has to include it in the budget next year. Finally, the governor needs to sign off on it. However, Renner said, “It’s an exciting time.” Such a project could be “transformational” for Flagler County, he said.

He added: “It’s not a done deal, but we’re not in chapter one anymore.”

Palm Coast City Manager Matt Morton said the possible partnership with UNF and Douglas and all the other stakeholders has been “a dream.” He credited Mayor Milissa Holland with the “epiphany where the cornerstone [of Town Center] could be an institution of higher education.”

Douglas remains optimistic. “We’re now in a machine where the gears are working,” he said.

Brian McMillan has been editor of the Palm Coast Observer since it began in 2010. He was named the Journalist of the Year for weekly newspapers in North America by the Local Media Association in 2012. He lives in Palm Coast with his wife and five children. Email...

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