COCOA – Cocoa Village is one step closer to an updated setting in one of its most popular locations, Riverfront Park.
On May 23, Cocoa City Council members approved a design concept for the area adjacent to the Indian River Lagoon, near where a wooden boardwalk stood before it was destroyed during Hurricane Irma.
The Riverfront Park Promenade and Overlooks Project, as it’s been dubbed, will feature an 18-inch wall with a landscaped area between the wall and a walkway, plus at least two railed platforms for viewing the river.
Additionally, there will be a wall with the Cocoa logo in the center facing outwards toward the lagoon.
Scheduled to be complete by March 2020, the project is not just being seen as a way to re-construct the boardwalk, which was built before 2005; it’s a way to generally update the increasingly bustling locale, where many new restaurants, businesses and events have set up shop in recent years.
“I think the promenade is part of the update and revitalization of the waterfront in the village,” said Public Relations Specialist Samantha Senger, “not just up-dates due to storm damage but also revitalizing Lee Wenner park and the waterfront there as well.”
Other recent notable revitalization projects include areas along Florida Avenue and Harrison Street, Ms. Senger said.
“The proposed plan will make the waterfront more engaging for residents and visitors alike by offering two river overlooks,” a news release notes. “It will also improve the resiliency of the waterfront area to any future hurricane damage and other storm events.”
Prior to approving the up-graded promenade, the city made temporary repairs to Lee Wenner Park and Riverfront Park, including minimal shoreline stabilization to prevent further erosion. Sidewalks, railings and the boat launch area were also stabilized.
The new design concept is part of the city’s larger Waterfront Master Plan, which was revised in the months after Hurricane Irma pummeled the coast in September 2017.
“A public meeting was held shortly after Hurricane Irma swept through the area and caused extensive damage to Cocoa's waterfront, where residents were able to give input on their vision for the future of Cocoa's waterfront,” the news release states. “A result of this meeting was a revised Waterfront Master Plan, which outlines the future plans for Cocoa's waterfront and lays out priorities and costs for each project. This plan is part of Cocoa's Community Redevelopment Agency Plan.”