CRESTVIEW — A downtown segment of Industrial Drive will soon be rebranded as “Crestview Junction," harkening back to the city's origin as a railroad town.
The Community Redevelopment Agency Board unanimously approved the motion — "part of the marketing; it’s hard to market ‘Industrial Drive,’ CRA director Brenda Smith said — on Monday.
The segment to be renamed is at the former junction of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad and the Yellow River Railroad. Industrial Drive follows the Yellow River Railroad’s original route through north Crestview.
The two-block length to be renamed is from Main Street to Brett Street North. Smith said the name change would affect just two commercial properties behind Coney Island Hotdogs.
As part of the project, Smith proposes constructing a business activity center and recreating the original Crestview L&N Railroad depot on two city-owned lots east of Ferdon Boulevard's railroad overpass.
She suggested constructing the former out of retired shipping containers, following an urban design trend that converts the insulated, weatherproof metal boxes into shops, restaurants, offices and homes.
For several years, a lot bordering Twin Hills Park has been discussed as the preferred location for a recreated depot.
A committee of Main Street Crestview Association and Historic Preservation Board members pursued the proposal around 2009-10, seeking input from grant consultants.
The committee suggested making the recreation historically accurate but more practical for multiple uses by widening the original depot’s floor plan, which committee chairman Cal Zethmayr obtained from the West Florida Railroad Museum in Milton.
Smith sought and received CRA Board approval to talk with Florida A&M University architecture students and University of West Florida design students about the project.
The board also approved vacating Crestview Junction area rights of way, contracting with the city’s engineering consultants to provide surveys, and assembling a technical advisory team for the project.