Town Center Background Information
In 1995, the Village of Wellington became the County's 37th municipality, through incorporation. Shortly thereafter, Village founders recognized the need for a place of gathering. As the Village evaluated various potential locations for a gathering, the existence of the original Wellington Country Club and Pool was a key element in selecting what is known today as Town Center.
Beginning in 2009, with the "Boulevarding" of Forest Hill and the re-building of the community pool, the Village set in motion construction Town Center, as our gathering destination. In 2010, the amphitheater and Scott's Place barrier-free playground were constructed. In late 2013, the Village purchased the Lake Wellington Professional Center, which added property and lakefront footage to the Town Center. This was followed by the completion of the Tennis and the Community Centers in 2015.
This evolution in private and public investment has created what we known today as Town Center.
Town Center is located on Forest Hill Boulevard at Town Center Drive and Ken Adams Way. It is home to Village Hall, Scott’s Place barrier-free playground, the Patriot Memorial, the Wellington amphitheater, aquatics center, Wellington Community Center, and the Lake Wellington Professional Center.
Why “Town Center"? Wellington has never had a true gathering place, a place where people can come together and share activities. For more than a decade the Village has been working on creating a community gathering place at Town Center. We started with the pool and clubhouse that were a part of the original Wellington golf course. Beginning in 2008, Council began a series of improvements, the amphitheater, Scott’s Place playground, the new Community Center, Village Hall, and the Patriot Memorial. The next addition will be a boardwalk along lake Wellington.
The Town Center Master Plan is our look at the future. It is the tool that we will use to incorporate our residents' needs and wishes into future facilities and programs in the heart of our Village. The information gathered during the public participation process will guide Council in their decision-making process.
The things we have discussed include:
- Functional Open Space – Increasing green space within Town Center, moderating the sea of parking, enlarging the amphitheater, changing traffic patterns so that they are less intrusive on Town Center uses.
- Expanded Community Events – Better space for a green market, festivals along Lake Wellington, better utilization of the Community Center. Consideration of changes to the aquatics features.
- Pedestrian-friendly Streets – The introduction of pedestrian-friendly streets, with wide walkways and views into Town Center. Offices and shops would be adjacent to the walkways providing on-street access to dining spaces and specialty shops that will encourage residents to interact with each other and that bring together public and private uses.
- Professional Office Space – Evaluate the need for smaller office spaces, perhaps shared spaces designed to work as a business incubator, space where Wellington business can start and grow.
- Boardwalk – a pathway running along Lake Wellington from the Lake Wellington Professional Center to Village Hall.
- Parking structure – This discussion is an offshoot of functional open space. Vertical parking gives an opportunity for more open space. This concept would need private sector partnership.
As we move forward, Village Council wants to hear from our residents. The principal goal of the Town Center Master Plan is to develop a long-range plan that has broad community support.