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Historic Core to Get New Park Next to Rowan, El Dorado

By Eric Richardson
Published: Wednesday, January 14, 2009, at 10:36AM

The Historic Core is set to get a new 35,000 square foot park on Spring street. The announcement was made this morning at a meeting of the Council District 9 Quimby Task Force. The lot, previously slated for a hotel and condo development, will be sold to the city for $5.6 million, to be funded out of Quimby fees.

New parks have been consistently identified as a high priority by Downtown residents. This morning's announcement came as quite the happy surprise for the dozen or so stakeholders present at the City Hall meeting.

The land is a irregularly shaped parcel currently holding parking lots and construction staging.

Developer Downtown Properties owns the parcel, located between the Rowan Lofts and the El Dorado on Spring street. The land had been appraised for $6.3 million in September. The price comes oit to roughly $157 per square foot, a considerable bargain in a neighborhood where land had until recently been selling for up to $500 per square foot.

At the meeting this morning, the Department of Recreation and Parks told stakeholders that it had no concrete plans for the design of the park, and that plans would be developed out of meetings with the community. Early ideas include green space and using a portion of the site for a dog park.

Escrow is expected to close in March. Talks were started late last year. A timeline for when the land would open as park space has not been set.

Next door, Downtown Properties is set to go to auction on 79 units in the Rowan Lofts. The auction will take place February 8. On the other side of the park space, the developer is at work on the El Dorado Lofts, another high-end residential conversion.

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