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Plans Submitted for $6.6 Million Park at 9th & Hill

By Eric Richardson
Published: Friday, March 12, 2010, at 12:34PM
9th & Hill Park Renerk Rendering

Rendering of the proposed pocket park at 9th & Hill.

Plans to convert a parking lot at 9th and Hill into a pocket park took a step forward this month, with Councilman Jose Huizar's office and the community group behind the proposal partnering up on an application for $5 million in state funds. That money, along with $1.6 million in local funds, would pay for the acquisition of the 0.7-acre parcel and the development of the park.

That's a big drop from previous estimates, which were based on the $8 million price tag that Kor Group has been using to shop the site.

While he declined to give the land price in the current figure, the project's neighborhood outreach committee chair, Bill Cooper, said today that the funds would be sufficient to get the project done.

"The city had the park appraised by an independent appraiser" to determine the price, Cooper explained. "That initial funding can build the park the way we have planned."

The site is located immediately behind the Eastern Columbia building, and is also close to residential units at the Orpheum Lofts and the soon-to-open Blackstone.

Councilman Jose Huizar's office helped line up the $1.6 million in local money, which the state application required be committed already. "I am proud of the collaboration that went into this proposal, with my staff working hand-in-hand with the downtown community, along with support and assistance from the Department of Recreation and Parks," Huizar said in a statement.

The $5 million in state money would come from the Statewide Park Development and Community Revitalization Program of 2008, which is slated to pump $368 million into park projects throughout California. Several other Downtown projects have applied for similar funding amounts.

Cooper said that the project is pursuing private funds that could allow it to lessen the amount of city money required or add additional features to the park.

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