Lans­dale seeks grant funds for Madi­son Lot skate park

North Penn Life - - Opinion - Dsokil@jour­nalregis­

By Dan Sokil

A week af­ter the pub­lic gRt LtV fiUVt ORRN Dt uSGDtHG plans for re­de­vel­op­ment, in­clud­ing a skate park to­ward the rear of the Madi­son park­ing lot, Lans­dale Bor­ough is seek­ing more grant money to help with that project.

ln March 20, coun­cil voted unan­i­mously to ap­ply for AT00,000 in state grant fund­ing that coun­cil sice Pres­i­dent Mary Fuller said will come with no cost to the bor­ough.

“There is a match por­tion — a 50 per­cent match — but I’m pleased to an­nounce that the de­vel­oper will pay the match so it’s a to­tal win-win for us,” Fuller said.

Last week, that de­vel­oper, Equus Part­ners (for­merly known as BPd Prop­er­ties), pub­licly dis­played its lat­est plans to re­de­velop the bor­ough’s Madi­son park­ing lot, with a skate park and pedes­trian over­pass added to the project’s ini­tial in­tent of build­ing a park­ing garage, apart­ments and re­tail space atop the cur­rent lot DnG YDFDnt fiHOGV EHKLnG.

lne of those fields, lo­cated be­low the water tower near Third Street and oichard­son Av­enue, would be­come the fu­ture site of a skate park for a com­mu­nity Fuller said was “ec­static” to learn of the new plans.

“I’m get­ting well-ver­bal­ized, well-thoughtout emails from peo­ple who un­der­stand what this means, are ex­cited about it and want to be in­volved in it. They can’t wait to help,” she said.

Those of­fers have ranged from vol­un­teers to host skate­board­ing lessons to as­sist­ing with the devel­op­ment process, and, Fuller said, “th­ese are peo­ple from all ages, from their 40s and 50s down into the P0s, 20s and teens.”

BRURugK RI­fiFLDOV KRSH all of those users stay in­volved as the project moves through the land de­velop- ment ap­proval process, and Fuller said that buy-in will help cre­ate a de­sire for the skate com­mu­nity to take care of that park.

“If they’re in­vested in the process, if they’re users, then you can be damn sure they’re go­ing to keep xthe parkz clean and neat, and be on the look­out for oth­ers who may want to dam­age RU YDnGDOL]H RU gUDI­fitL,” she said.

The grant money would come from the state’s aepart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion and Nat­u­ral oe­sources, as part of its Com­mu­nity Con­ser­va­tion Part­ner­ships Pro­gram meant to en­cour- age green park projects, trail con­nec­tion and out­door recre­ation — which the skate park and trails pro­mote.

“vou can walk there on the trail, you can skate­board to it on the trail, you can drive, you can walk, you can take the train to it,” Fuller said.

That trail con­nec­tion will KHOS FRn­nHFt HDt­fiHOG DnG rp­per dwynedd con­nec­tions with down­town Lans­dale. rpon its com­ple­tion, Fuller said, Lans­dale will EH tKH fiUVt PunLFLSDOLty Ln tKH FRunty tR finLVK LtV stretch of the Lib­erty Bell Trail, which will run from Stony Creek Park at Han­cock Street, along the rail­road tracks past the An­dale dreen devel­op­ment, into down­town past the bor­ough mu­nic­i­pal com­plex and through the Madi­son ORt tR FRn­nHFt wLtK HDt­fiHOG west of Third Street.

Fuller and Bor­ough Man­ager Timi Kirch­ner both em­pha­sized that the grant fund­ing would be used for pub­lic im­prove­ments on land that would be owned by Equus but used by the pub­lic, such as the trails and the skate park.

“There have been ques­tions about whether or not the grants are go­ing for the GHYHORSHU’V EHnH­fit, DnG that’s sim­ply not the case,” Kirch­ner said.

“The grants are for a trail, for a skate park and for im­prove­ments on Madi­son Street. Th­ese are all pub­lic ar­eas that will re­main xpub­licz once this project is up and run­ning and spec­tac­u­larly suc­cess­ful,” she said.

Sev­eral other coun­cil mem­bers thanked the team RI ERURugK RI­fiFLDOV DnG con­sul­tants that helped pre­pare and present the plans ODVt wHHN. 7KH RI­fiFLDOV in­cluded Coun­cil­man aan au­ni­gan, who chairs the bor­ough Park­ing Author­ity, which agreed to sell the lot to Equus.

“I’ve looked at the num­bers dozens and dozens of times and it’s still, frankly, stag­ger­ing” to see the to­tal EHnH­fit tR tKH ERURugK tKH project will bring, he said.

Bor­ough fact sheets avail­able at the coun­cil meet­ing show maps of the project and its re­la­tion­ship to other projects un­der ac­tive devel­op­ment in Lans­dale, and a Park­ing Author­ity fact sheet de­tails the pro­jected AT48,000 in an­nual rev­enue and A965,000 in one-time rev­enue the project should cre­ate.

The project has al­ready been awarded A2.5 mil­lion in state grant money to as­sist with other pub­lic im­prove­ments and Equus and the Park­ing Author­ity submitted fur­ther grant ap­pli­ca­tions last month seek­ing A800,000 more for re­me­di­a­tion work on that prop­erty.

LRng-tHUP EHnH­fitV tR tKH bor­ough to­tal more than A20 mil­lion when the costs of the nearby SEPTA garage and pedes­trian bridge are in­cluded, and au­ni­gan en­cour­aged the pub­lic to at­tend a spe­cial Park­ing Author­ity meet­ing March 2T when that en­tity could ap­prove the lat­est plans.

“That will be the jump­ing-off point, where the folks from Equus can head for the sub­di­vi­sion and land plan­ning phases and we can get this ball rolling,” he said.

For more in­for­ma­tion, meet­ing ma­te­ri­als or to view the Madi­son Lot pre­sen­ta­tion and grant ap­pli­ca­tion, visit www.Lans­dale. org or fol­low @Lans­dalePA on Twit­ter.

Art courtesy of Lans­dale Bor­ough.

Ren­der­ing of the pro­posed Madi­son park­ing lot re­de­vel­op­ment project, as pre­sented by Equus Cap­i­tal Part­ners to Lans­dale Park­ing Author­ity March 13.

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