DBIA to reclaim Water St. paved area for park extension
A paved area at the end of Water St. near the downtown No Frills is being turned into park space for a new extension to Millennium Park in Peterborough.
The project, led by the Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA) association, will happen this year and see around 300,000 square feet of space opened up.
At a DBIA breakfast meeting on Wednesday, DBIA executive director Terry Guiel said the project is the largest the organization has ever made, with plans to spend $87,000 on the redevelopment.
This is the first in a series of projects under the Downtown Vibrancy Project which will see old and underused areas given new life.
It is planned to see the “reimagining some of our public spaces downtown,” said Guiel, noting it will be “looking at repurposing areas that are really not functioning to the degree they should be functioning, dead areas.”
The new development is meant to be a more vibrant park space downtown for families to play in.
The location will be depaved and added to the existing park. The plan is subject to city council approval in June.
While city council approval is not guaranteed, many members of council came to the breakfast meeting and seemed to respond positively to the concept.
Guiel said the project should be approved, as it will cost nothing to taxpayers.
With funds coming from the DBIA, grants and donations, no funding is being asked of from the city.
“From the city all we want is approval,” he said.
Guiel says the project may have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, but with the help of members of the community and other organizations offering their services for free the price tag is well below that.
The project is also seeing an “aggressive” deadline, according to Guiel, as it is expected to be completed this summer.
Michael Gallant, an architect with Lett Architects who is working on the project, said he’s been working on a concept since the fall and hopes it is the first of many new redevelopments done by the Downtown Vibrancy Project.
The work could see as much as 12,000 square feet of pavement removed for the Millennium
Park extension, he said, but that amount could be subject to change.
The Downtown Vibrancy Project will also do a pilot project with street corners being beautified by public art installations featuring canoes, he said.
There’s also some “landscape interventions in existing greenspaces” at downtown locations.
“The Chambers Lot (off Hunter Street) … has a lot of great green space but it needs some love,” Gallant said.
During his presentation at the breakfast meeting Gallant told those in attendance the park extension will tie into the upcoming redevelopment of Water and George streets which is aimed to make the area more pedestrian and cyclist friendly.
“We want to make sure there’s some continuity in these areas,” Guiel said.