This Central Arts District spans the 300-700 blocks from First Avenues North to South, encompassing a rich mixture of new development and historic structures. A thriving music scene gives the District its rhythm, with several venues showcasing local and national talent. National touring rock, folk, country and alternative bands perform in an open air stage under a giant tree canopy at Jannus Live. Ruby’s Elixir hosts nightly live jazz, blues and soul performers. Studio@620 develops artistic and educational programs using storytellers, poets, musicians and historians to encourage new cultural experiences. The Floridian Social Club (formerly State Theatre) is an 800-seat concert venue recently restored to its art deco design roots. Current developments in the District include three mixed-use projects—a new Municipal Services building, renovation of an existing Municipal Services building and the 400 Central/Red Apple development.
THE VOICE OF THE COMMUNITY
Growing up, Central Avenue was a collection of antique and resale shops in stretches of old and worn out buildings. I would visit it on the weekend with my mom, always out to find a deal. Fast forward to 2009 when I was searching for the perfect spot to put my retail concept. Central Avenue was desolate. Life had been sucked out by the previous recession and had yet to recover. But my husband and I felt that change was coming. We signed a lease at 615 Central Avenue paying $5/sq ft and decided to hold on for the ride.
Today Central Avenue is home to over 250 small businesses, stretching 30 blocks, and is one of the largest draws for people relocating from other large to mid-sized art cities nationwide. It’s exciting to think what the next 10 years will bring!