Invest: Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County sits down with the mayor of Oakland Park
By staff writer
July 2018 – 2 min. read
Now known as the City of Oakland Park, the Town of Floranada was founded in December 1925 and stretched from the ocean westward to what is now U.S. 441. This massive community was diminished, and many of the residents moved away after the September 1926 hurricane. A smaller community, the City of Oakland Park, took the Town of Floranada’s place. Today, the city occupies about eight square miles, with expansive parks, a library and recreation programs for all. Twice a year there is a tree giveaway to residents, and the city has plans for an upcoming bike path/walkway project.
“For many years, Oakland Park wasn’t on the map as a destination, but that featured market is now changing,” Mayor Lonergan told Invest: Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County when he sat down with our team earlier this summer.
The City of Oakland Park prides itself on its relationships with local businesses. “We have a good partnership with the Oakland Park Business Group, which comprises about 70 businesses,” Mayor Lonergan told Invest:. “They get involved with initiatives to help clean up the city and bring more businesses here.”
The Proud to Be Oakland Park initiative was formed to recognize the pride local businesses have in being a part of the Oakland Park community. Recently, the mayor and city commission awarded five businesses Proud to Be Oakland Park awards to recognize and celebrate their commitment to the city.
Among the new businesses in Oakland Park are Funky Buddha Brewery, the largest craft brewery in Florida, and Tatts and Tacos, a trendy Mexican restaurant and beer garden. The introduction of new restaurants has been bringing the Culinary Arts District to life. This district is an initiative in Downtown Oakland Park designed to attract new culinary businesses and customers to the city while at the same time strengthening the neighborhood for current tenants and residents.
According to Mayor Lonergan, new businesses are not the only thing putting the city on the map. The expansion of community events is also bringing more people to Oakland Park. There are a variety of seasonal events, such as the city’s own Oktoberfest and the kid-friendly Halloween bash, which offers music and fun for everyone. July alone is a busy month for Oakland Park, with a citywide yard sale, Mighty Machine & Truck Day for kids and the continuation of the Summer Nights in the Park series, which features a free monthly Culinary Arts Showcase, live music and a family-friendly movie.
The city values the members of its community and makes these events open to all interested parties, believing in inclusivity for all programs, services and activities. The City of Oakland Park even tests well. “[We were] recently awarded a 99 percent score by the Municipality Equality Index Report from the Human Rights Campaign, which is something to be very proud of,” Mayor Lonergan told Invest:. This report analyzes how inclusive municipalities are of the LGBTQ people who work and reside within their boundaries.
“We believe quality of life is of utmost importance,” the mayor added, “and we are enhancing that for the residents and visitors to Oakland Park.”
For more information about Oakland Park, visit the city’s website: https://oaklandparkfl.gov/