Mayor Mike Bell today announced the start of construction for the second phase of improvements at downtown's Promenade Park.
“This is one of the quality-of-life issues we have been talking about,” Mayor Bell said during a morning news conference at the park.
The mayor first released details of the second phase of his plans to turn Promenade Park into a more usable green space back in February. He said the redesigned park is part of his plan to put some pizzazz in the area, make it more usable for concerts, and draw people toward the waterfront. Part of the mayor's goal is to create a place that helps economic development in the downtown area, he said.
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The second phase only will cost taxpayers more than $1.96 million. It will include improving an area close to Summit Street with parallel parking, low landscape planters with benches, brick pavers, specialty finish concrete, trees, retail carts, steps, a garden, and seating.
In 2012, a month after Toledo City Council ended opposition to the mayor's plan to revitalize the park, the first phase of renovation got under way.
Beginning July 9, 2012, workers with heavy equipment began hauling huge amounts of soil to the old Federal Building site adjacent to Promenade Park and the nearby former Toledo Edison steam plant. Earth moving equipment operators sculpted the grounds to elevate the site, filled in Water Street next to it, and connected the land with the current Promenade Park site along the Maumee River. The plan is to double the size of the park and create a graded slope from North Summit Street down to the river.
A $2.2 million leftover from a state loan previously allocated for a public portion of the Marina District in East Toledo was rededicated for Promenade Park.
Future plans include a splash pad for children, a concert lawn amphitheater, and “green rooms” for performers. Mayor Bell said the city will need private funding for those added amenities.
David Dysard, planning administrator at the city division of engineering services, said the city does not have cost estimates for the amphitheater and splash pad.