You could almost hear a collective exhalation of breath over Zoom on the evening of May 24th, when long-time advocates for parks and open space in downtown Pasadena tuned in to watch Pasadena’s City Council vote to fund the creation of the City’s first urban park for the Playhouse Village (formerly Playhouse District).
By Deborah Dentler
Park proponents, including some who had worked over ten years to bring the matter to a vote, had put their hopes on hold when last week’s council meeting was abruptly cancelled.
The mood turned celebratory on May 24th when City Council voted unanimously to allocate approximately $4 million toward creation of the long-awaited park. City Council approved a bid from Act 1 Construction, Inc. to install the new park. The company agreed to pay prevailing wages to workers for 5 new jobs for local residents. Councilman Tyron Hampton urged City staff to make efforts to persuade the company to consider hiring subcontractors based in Pasadena.
Construction work is set to start in August 2021. The new park, yet to be named, at the intersection of El Molino and Union Avenues is intended to provide badly-needed recreational and green space for residents of the city’s most dense neighborhood of multi-family apartment and condo buildings.
The project was designed by consultants MIG Inc. after two years of meetings with residents and business interests, including the Playhouse Village Association, the Downtown Pasadena Neighborhood Association (DPNA), and the homeowner associations of condo buildings adjacent to the park. The selected design features:
- a central lawn for recreation and community gatherings (many residents voiced a strong desire for a farmer’s market),
- bike and car parking (including EV chargers),
- a children’s play area, two off-leash dog play enclosures,
- and new paths, sidewalks and shade trees.
The park, which was planned in conjunction with the “Complete Streets” project and the Union Street Cycle Track, is set to open in Spring 2022.
Deborah Dentler is a Pasadena attorney specializing in foster care cases.
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