LAKELAND, Fla. — Co-owners Jennifer Batts and Craig Morby have a grand vision for the former car lot at the corner of E. Parker Street and N. Massachusetts Avenue in Lakeland.
- Former car lot in Lakeland to transform into a food truck park
- The venue will be called "The Yard on Mass"
- Venue will also have a bar, an event space, and live music
They’re working with Lakeland’s Community Redevelopment Agency to turn it into a food truck park.
“This is a community that deserves investment. We’re here to invest in our community. We want to be partners with them. And this is kind of our gift back to the community that raised my husband and I. My kids were born here,” said Jennifer Batts, who just moved back to Lakeland to work on the project.
The venue will be called “The Yard on Mass,” modeled after “The Rayback Collective” in Boulder, Colorado. Batts is one of the investors there.
“It’s the backyard party everyone wants an invitation to and you don’t need an invitation,” said Batts.
Food truck owner Nik Minadakis, of “Jimmy’s Famous Seafood Express” said he likes the idea.
“The food truck park is needed just to create a little diversity in the cuisine that is here in Lakeland, “ Minadakis said.
His only concern would be the price point for food truck owners to rent the space.
“They need to be very thoughtful of the food trucks themselves because our profit margins are low as is because people don’t want to come to a food truck and pay the same price that they can go to a restaurant and eat,“ he said.
Besides food trucks and outdoor seating, “The Yard on Mass” will have a bar serving craft beer and an event space. It’ll also offer live music.
It’s a 50/50 partnership with Lakeland’s Community Redevelopment Agency. The CRA is chipping in up to $250,000.