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Greensboro's future center-city park/plaza

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Now the the downtown ballpark is moving forward without delay, concentration will now be on the 2nd part of phase 1 in the downtown revitalization plan. The buildings have already been demolish and the land has already been graded for the future central park. While there are no detailed plans at this point what exactly will be built in the park, Downtown Greensboro, Inc. has indicated some serious possibilities based on public imput. Everyone agrees that it should be a people place and not just some boring green space.

The park will be designed based on the activities that are occuring on surrounding properties. On the East side of the park site, there is the Greensboro Cultural Arts Center, Festival Park, Greensboro Historical Museum and the main public library. On the south is a 10-story office building. on the west side is the gutted 17-story old Wachovia building that now has a developer wanting to turn that building into a mixed-use project that would have a restaurant occupying the entire 2nd floor with a cafe' balcony overlooking the park. About 4 floors of the building will be dedicated to office space and the remaing upper floors will be dedicated to condos. On the North side of the park site sits a 19-story office tower.

The historical qualities of Greensboro will provide the basic character for the park. Some of the idea that the citizens strongly want to see in their future center-city park are:

1. a water feature

2. strong educational component

3. activities from surrounding properties should bleed into the park.

4. entertainment activities such as outdoor movies, concerts and street musicians.

5. cultural shows that have a strong focus on the arts.

6. a seasonal events program for the park: for example during the winter a Christmas market was proposed that would include a temporary ice skating rink. The spring would have a nice floral display and other events associated with the spring time.

7. access to food

8. Murials or art painted on surrounding buildings such as on the parking garage just south of the park site.

These are the ideas that will likely take shape in the future center-city park. I think the park will have just as great of an impact as the future downtown ballpark. In Phase 3 of the revitalization plan will include another ambitious park called "Rail Yard park". It will be a mile long linear park along the railroad tracks and will serve as a greenway in downtown Greensboro. This park will be adjacent to the newly open multi-modal transportation center and will have a mile long thin waterway stretching throughout downtown. The idea is to create a park system downtown and each section of the center-city will have its own park space. In the Northwest part of downtown a park called "Unity Park" is proposed. This park will have water gardens and will be located within the proposed "Grand Boulevard" which itself will have floral gardens, condos, townhomes and a trolley/streetcar system. I think its about time Greensboro acted on improving it downtown. The goal is to make downtown have a more urban feel that will offer things that young professionals want.

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