Simplified: The space in front of the unfinished downtown parking ramp is getting a bit of a facelift with a temporary plaza that opened last weekend.
Why it matters
- The ramp has been sitting unfinished for years as the city was stuck in legal limbo with the project's initial developer. Earlier this year, that lawsuit settled, paving the way for the city to move forward with someone new.
- In the meantime, the city is using the space just south of the ramp as a temporary plaza with some green space, tables, yard games and events.
- It's unclear how long the plaza will be in place, but until City Council decides what comes next for the ramp, the parks department will be putting on events and programs, Recreation Manager Jackie Nelson said.
"We’re just gearing up to program it for as long as we need to," Nelson said.
What did the temporary plaza cost?
So far? Nothing outside of day-to-day operational costs in the parks department, Nelson said.
- Parks department workers put down asphalt.
- Turf was donated by Mammoth Sports.
- The tables are made of spools from the public works department – and painted by kids in local community centers.
- The planters were re-purposed from the July pop-up park near the Phillips Avenue Diner.
"We're repurposing things we already had to turn this space in to a really active environment," Nelson said.
What's next for the plaza?
The city is still working to find a muralist (and someone to sponsor them).
- Realistically, there won't be any sort of mural until 2023 at the earliest, Nelson said. And it's possible by then the ramp may have a new development partner.
Meanwhile, the plaza will host a handful of events in the coming weeks, including:
- Golfapalooza on Oct. 13,
- An after work plaza party on Oct. 19,
- And "Cribbage and Cards" on Oct. 22.
Find more events as they're announced on the parks and recreation website.
What's next for the parking ramp?
City Councilors have been working with city leaders to look at what the options are for the parking ramp – and, largely, they're keeping their options open.
Councilors will talk more about the ramp in an Oct. 11 meeting, and they're expected to decide a timeline for the city to say it's ready to accept proposals from developers.
Chief of Staff Erica Beck has previously said the city could decide on a partner as early as this fall with construction starting in fall 2023 in the "best-case scenario."