$6.9 million park reconstruction viewed as catalyst for wider redevelopment
It’s not every day an army of earth movers and hard-hat clad workers tear up the grass in a community’s most visible park and shut down a street adjacent to Town Hall. And though not everyone in Castle Rock is familiar with the plans for the $6.9 million Festival Park reconstruction project that got underway in February, many residents are eager to see how the project will improve upon the park’s previous design when work wraps sometime this winter.
Construction crews continue their work on Festival Park, including the construction of the new performance pavilion, on April 19 in Castle Rock.Kathryn Scott, YourHubConstruction crews continue their work on Festival Park, including the construction of the new performance pavilion, on April 19 in Castle Rock.
“I’m hoping it will turn out better than it was before. Maybe with more seating so you don’t have to bring your own chairs,” said Rose Ann Dow. “(The creek) was just kind of a little dribble. It needed to be dug out. Some more water features could be part of it, maybe.”
Megan Treffeisen hasn’t visited Festival Park much lately. But look at the plans for the project — including a covered picnic pavilion, permanent restrooms and two bridges over Sellars Gulch — piqued her interest.
“It seems like it will be nice,” she said. “It seems more like a practical use of the space. The way it was designed before, it wasn’t really suitable for big events.”
Festival Park isn’t the only parcel in flux in the heart of the town. The skeleton of an eventual three-story addition to Town Hall has risen near the corner of First and Wilcox streets. Work there is expected to last into autumn. Just across Wilcox, the hole where a strip shopping center once stood will eventually be filled with one of two buildings making up the mixed-use Riverwalk at Castle Rock project.
Officials and business owners think the Festival Park project has served as a catalyst for redevelopment in the area. Tony DiSimone, principal with Riverwalk developer Confluence Companies, cited local investment in the park — $2.9 million from the town and $4 million from the quasi-governmental, business-led organization, the Downtown Development Authority — as evidence the area was primed for new construction.
Greg Bowman owns The Emporium, a home furnishing, fashion and antiques store opposite Festival Park at the northeast corner of Second and Perry streets. He also chairs the Downtown Development Authority board of directors.
Second Street has been permanently closed at Wilcox to expand the park and make room for a shaded plaza, splash pad, bathrooms and more. A one-way portion of Second from Perry remains but Bowman’s business lost its direct access off of Wilcox. A roundabout will be built at the intersection of Third Street and Perry this summer. Bowman said those changes are well worth it for the benefits a more popular Festival Park could generate. He said the park, once done, will instantly become a key venue for the town’s recently launched events series, hopefully regularly attracting large crowds.
“As a business owner I really see the importance of having a vibrant and active downtown. It helps not only my business but it helps foster a sense of community for the whole town,” Bowman said. “Sure, we lost a few parking spaces and we lost a through street but what we’re gaining is a community-centered environment that will help the downtown as a whole flourish.”
By JOE RUBINO | firstname.lastname@example.org |
PUBLISHED: April 25, 2017 at 10:41 pm | UPDATED: April 25, 2017 at 10:44 pm