The Austin Chronicle

Investing in Downtown Parks

May 4, 2007, News

Turning underperforming parks into great outdoor people places requires both vision and cash. This PARD "wish list" documents current needs – all unfunded – in city parks Downtown, and along central Town Lake. Parkland-dedication fees from new Downtown condos and apartments could help fund the projects listed.

(Cost* and short-term needs: unfunded)

Historic Squares & Structures

Wooldridge Square: $500,000
Restore and improve square, Phase I

Republic Square: $250,000
Complete master-plan process; next phase of improvements

Brush Square: $300,000
Master plan to improve square, with O. Henry Museum and Dickinson House

Old Bakery & Emporium: $1.5 million
Restore historic structure

Creek Greenbelts: Trails & Parks

Shoal Creek

Pease Park: $1 million
1) Improve and stabilize trail near 15th Street/possible mitigation from disc golf
2) Improve lighting along Shoal Creek

Shoal Creek Trail: $1.5 million
1) Stabilize banks at Fifth Street
2) Close gap in trail near Fifth Street (acquire land or easements)

Austin Recreation Center: $500,000
Redevelop parkland for new uses after old ARC is demolished

Duncan Park: $700,000
Develop park amenities

Waller Creek (To complement Waller Creek Tunnel project)

Waterloo Park: $750,000
1) Master plan; consider new uses compatible with tunnel redevelopment; expand and update recreational amenities
2) Restore damaged segments of trail

Symphony Square: $300,000
Redevelop in order to reflect opportunities created by tunnel project

Waller Creek Trail: $6 million
1) Repair severe erosion on trail at Cesar Chavez & Red River (restore bank; stabilize banks along trail)
2) Explore appropriate lighting opportunities along the trail
3) Add trail heads to connect future development along Waller Creek

Palm Park: $900,000
1) Redevelop park – includes design and implementation
2) Feasibility study: Improve park along Waller Creek Trail

Town Lake Corridor: Trails & Parks

Town Lake Trail: $10 million
Complete continuous trail: Acquire waterfront easements and/or construct boardwalk

Animal Shelter Site: $1.5 million
1) Master-plan parkland for new uses (after animal shelter moves)
2) Construct new park facilities, as master-planned
Shoal Creek Outlet: $700,000
Develop as public park (restore building, park peninsula); connectivity with Seaholm

Zilker Park: $2 million
1) Barton Springs Pool: Master plan and implement improvements
2) Canoe Launch: Improve access
3) Barton Creek: bank restoration
4) Zilker Loop: Complete connection between Barton Creek Trail and Town Lake Trail

Town Lake Park (phase 3): $2 million
1) Add bridge for Town Lake Trail (over West Bouldin Creek)
2) Construct park between Riverside Drive and Town Lake (as master-planned)

Norwood House: $1 million
Restore historic house and park grounds

TOTAL: $31.4 million

* Note: Initial cost estimates are from preliminary PARD review. Further cost analyses needed.

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