The newly renovated Turfway Park is just a few months away from reopening, and surrounding businesses are working to maximize the nearby attraction.
Improvements to Florence’s Turfway Park are on schedule, according to City of Florence Community and Business Development Director Joshua Hunt. Churchill Downs Inc. is steering the $145 million renovation, which is due to be completed for a grand reopening in the fall.
Hunt met with the Planning and Zoning Committee on Wednesday to discuss resolutions under consideration around Turfway Park.
While the park has been under construction, restaurant developers have claimed properties at Turfway and Houston roads to attract the park’s customer base. Local hotel owner Subhash Patel is looking to capitalize on the property of the former Acapulco restaurant on Turfway Road.
A fire damaged the 8,000-square-foot restaurant in 2020 and it has since permanently closed. Now, Patel wants to reimagine the site for two or possibly four tenants to complement his nearby hotels, meaning more eateries may be coming to that area.
The committee heard Patel’s plans and offered little resistance. Members of the committee flipped through his plans, ensuring the design suggestions met the city’s standards.
Hunt and the committee agreed it was “a good reuse of the space.”
The committee also briefly discussed a zoning map amendment for a digital sign outside Turfway Park on Houston Road in Florence. Hunt said there are a lot of restrictions for digital signage, particularly when it comes to brightness and protecting nighttime drivers.
The digital sign is planned for the Turfway and Houston Road area, and plans show it won’t be a large pylon sign like a driver might see in a digital billboard along the highway. Instead, the sign will be ground level and placed near one of the park’s entrances.
Both items were recommended to move forward for a city council vote.