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Final Construction Documents for Civic Park Set for CRA Approval

By Eric Richardson
Published: Wednesday, May 19, 2010, at 02:41PM
Civic Center Park Model Eric Richardson [Flickr]

This model of the renovated Civic Park, presented last Spring, is similar to the final design set to be approved Thursday by the Community Redevelopment Agency.

A $56-million renovation of the park that runs through the heart of the Civic Center is scheduled to break ground next month, but before it can do so the project's Final Construction Documents must receive approvals from two government agencies.

The first of those approvals should come Thursday, when the item goes before the board of the Community Redevelopment Agency.

Funding for the project is coming from Related Companies, developer of the stalled Grand Avenue Project. With interest and funds from Proposition 40, the developer's payment of $50 million in July of 2007 has grown to $56 million.

Related submitted the construction documents at the end of January. With approvals, the park work is expected to break ground by the end of June. Construction would be completed by June of 2012, though individual phases may open earlier.

The park space stretches down Bunker Hill from the Music Center to City Hall, passing between the County-owned buildings on Temple and 1st. Most of the land is existing park, though one parcel adjacent to City Hall is currently in use as a surface parking lot.

The design by Rios Clementi Hale Studios appears largely similar to what approved by the County Board of Supervisors last April, but has undergone some changes. Space has been provided next to the "Community Terrace" for the existing Court of Flags, and some elements feel softer than they were in earlier designs.

Reuse is a major theme, with granite torn out during reconstruction of the Grand Avenue parking ramps used to make benches for the park's "Olive Court" area. The existing Arthur J. Will fountain will be retained and upgraded, keeping the shape and scale of the piece but cutting down on water volume and implementing modern nozzles and light fixtures. Reworked footpaths and a new membrane pool will provide interactive elements.

Many existing mature trees will be retained in the new design, though some will be removed to open views between City Hall and the DWP building.

After CRA, the construction documents must next go to the County Board of Supervisors, which is scheduled to hear the item on June 1.


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