Following the successful completion of the Lake Wales Service Center in 2012, Straughn Trout Architects continued working with Mr. Tedder’s office to develop a new Lakeland Service Center. Our team provided feasibility analysis for multiple sites in the Lakeland area including public accessibility, maximum facility capacity and estimated development expenses. The final chosen location was an existing structure originally constructed in 1953 as a Publix Supermarket.
The Tax Collector’s Office found many benefits to redevelopment of this existing site. The Lakeland Service Center is located within the City of Lakeland’s Core Improvement Area and the Midtown Community Redevelopment Area and has been identified as an anchor project for redevelopment. Through multiple presentations to local officials, our firm aided the Tax Collector’s Office in raising $1.8M in construction funding from County and City appropriations. This is one of the first buildings owned by a Tax Collector’s Office in the state. It has been recognized with awards from the Lakeland Historic Preservation Board & Historic Lakeland, Inc. as well as the Florida Redevelopment Assocation as an Outstanding Rehabilitation Project.
The new facility is the largest in the county, serving citizens across all of West Polk. The “dual lobby and clerk area” prototype plan maximizes efficiency and accommodates an average 1,200 customers daily. Elements unique to this facility include a commissioner meeting room, an indoor/outdoor staff break room, rainwater harvesting cisterns and a rejuvenated Art Deco exterior facade and interior accents that pay homage to the building’s original tenant.