Marathon is soliciting new ideas for city park

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The ideas are trickling in: a sensory play park for children, a passive park with a man-made beach and restored lighthouses, an area for food truck concessions and art vendors. Residents, and visitors for that matter, are beginning to submit ideas for the redevelopment of the former Quay property, now a city park. 

The City of Marathon is conducting public workshops for input on what should be done with the property. The final workshop will be on Tuesday, Feb. 18 where the public can add comments and review the ideas already presented. It will be from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Marathon City Hall. City staff provide paper, pens and coloring markers to let participants draw out their ideas.

“At this stage, we’re just collecting ideas,” said Brian Shea, a senior planner with the city. “At the last meeting I will be presenting what we have so far, and members of the city’s planning commission will lead the meeting.”

The land was purchased in 2018 for $2.1 million. At the time, city officials said it was too good an opportunity to pass up — the ability to welcome and define Marathon for southbound visitors as they approach the city for the first time. 

The property has stood idle since 2005 when Hurricane Wilma wiped out a popular restaurant and retail complex. It passed into the estate of Gus Boulis, a South Florida businessman who was murdered in Fort Lauderdale in 2001. The Quay extends from where the city-owned boat ramp is at MM 53.5 bayside north to where the land protrudes into the water. 

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