Pine Street Revitalization Project To Move Forward


LEESBURG – Leesburg City Commissioners voted 4 to 1 to move forward with the $2.9 million Pine Street revitalization project at its general meeting held Monday evening, March 13th, 2023 at City Hall, 501 West Meadow Street, Leesburg, Florida

The project represents a long time effort of the city and the Black community working together since the 1990’s to make the Pine Street area, once a thriving Black Community of successful small businesses and concerned residents, economically and socially stable again.

The recently constructed $5 million Aquatic Center and the newly opened businesses on Pine Street has enhanced the downtown Leesburg area. With the federal money from the American Recovery Program, Pine Street will be redeveloped into a safe two lane street with parking, more parking facilities will be built in the back of the businesses on Pine Street, and upgrades for utilities and landscaping are also included in the plan.  The redevelopment will have an important impact economically, creating more growth for the city.

The new construction will inspire more people to come with their children to the Aquatic Center and also patronize and shop at the local businesses.  It’s a win-win situation for the City of Leesburg and also the Black community.

Pastor John Christian, a former Leesburg City Commissioner, who believes the “project is long overdue” said when the city voted to move forward with the Pine Street Project it was rewriting a wrong that was done in 1981 when a city worker and two construction contractors misappropriated funds set aside for the project.  They were convicted and went to prison.”

“The Leesburg City Commission has done a wonderful thing for Leesburg and the Black Community tonight,” Pastor Christian told the commissioners and the attendees at the meeting.  “Now, you will make one of the largest African American communities in Leesburg economically viable and productive. Nothing but a good thing for our wonderful City of Leesburg.”

“This is a plus for Pine Street’s Black community.  It showed that the City of Leesburg is making a concerted commitment to improving their community,” concluded Pastor Christian.

Leesburg City Manager Al Miner agrees: “Pine Street is important. The City Commission invested in the Pine Street corridor which has been overlooked for so many years and returning an investment to this area shows a commitment by the City to the minority community.”

Also acknowledging the uptick for the Leesburg community, City Manager Miner said, “It provides an extension to downtown Leesburg and further enhances the investment in the Dabney Aquatic center.”