Coral Reef Park's New Concession Stand

If you've been to Palmetto Bay's Coral Reef Park over the past year, you've no doubt noticed some construction in the heart of the ball fields section.  The sign tells the story, a new concession stand is about to go into service.

On January 25th, I got a chance to tour the new facility and speak with some of the key people connected with the build out.  As a Palmetto Bay resident, I am impressed with the forethought and care that went into making the structure come to fruition.

With groundbreaking in February 2009 and an expected opening date in March, this building is quite possibly the first ground-up government-built "green" building in South Florida.  The Village has already submitted the project for LEED certification, which will assign a rating to the concession stand based on all aspects of the finished structure and how it was built.

As one might expect, the facility is fully ADA compliant.  The north and east sides of the concession stand have wide patio areas where patrons can sit, eat and watch the nearby ball games.  Overhead, a nylon canopy will shade patrons, much like the material used above the playground areas.

It really will be a wonderful place to kick back and enjoy the fresh air.  Here, Mayor Eugene Flinn looks over to our kids at play.

The concession stand business itself is currently out for RFP bids.  Vendors can bid on both this concession stand and/or the one at Palmetto Bay Park.  The deadline for the bids is February 9 at 3:00pm and once a vendor is selected, the plan is to try to get them built out and operational for the facility's planned opening in mid-March.

Fanny Carmona, Director of Parks & Recreation for Palmetto Bay says that the Village will benefit from a prevailing rate rent of the space and that residents will have a wide variety of food and beverage choice that was previously unavailable.

Pictured here are (left to right): Ed Silva, Director of Building and Capital Projects; Kirk Hearin, Manager of Parks & Recreation; Fanny Carmona, Director of Parks & Recreation.  The concession stand will have a full grill, fryer, refrigeration and lots of storage space for food.  The standard hot dogs and hamburgers, along with a ton of other food and drink will soon move through the service windows (behind our happy crew).

Besides the concession stand itself, there is a breezeway that will host a variety of vending machines.  The breezeway also has two chilled water fountains and the most beautiful bathroom facilites I've ever seen in a public park.

The capper to the building is a large room that will store sporting equipment for the football and baseball teams, as well as a few of the electric carts that are used by the park department staff.

I, for one, am very proud of how my Village tax dollars are being spent.  My feeling and the Mayor's expectation is that the concession stand will serve far more purpose than simple the place to grab some food.  With a nice space like this, it will likely become the park's centerpiece.

I would be very interested to hear your comments as well.  I will pass along your words to the Village staff as well.