June 25, 2014

New Downtown Skate Park, Five Park Improvement Projects Approved for North and South Sides


A new skate park downtown and five park improvement projects on the North and South sides will move forward through financial measures approved today by City Council.

Grant Park Skate Park, 1100 S. Michigan Ave.
Tax Increment Financing (TIF) assistance in the amount of $2.5 million will support the construction of a new skate and wheel park at the south end of Grant Park. The proposed three-acre, plaza-style park is planned for an area bounded by Roosevelt Road, Michigan Avenue, the 11th street pedestrian bridge, and the Illinois Central railroad tracks. The facility will feature an array of design elements for skaters, scooter riders and BMX enthusiasts. Other amenities will include a viewing platform and passive lawn space surrounding a performance area. The balance of the $2.65 million project will be paid by the Chicago Park District. Approximately 1.9-acres of City-owned land located at 300 E. 11th St. will be sold to the Park District for $1 to accommodate construction of the park.

Welles Park, 2333 W. Sunnyside Ave.
TIF assistance in the amount of $1.3 million will support a new field house roof, pool filtration system, expanded playground and resurfaced tennis courts at Welles Park in Lincoln Square. Earlier upgrades at the 15-acre park resulted in ADA-access upgrades and other pool improvements. The park is named for Gideon Welles who served as Secretary of the Navy in President Abraham Lincoln’s cabinet.

Williams-Davis Park, 4101 S. Lake Park Ave.
The Chicago Park District will be reimbursed with $260,000 in Open Space Impact Fees for development costs associated with the construction of Williams-Davis Park in Oakland. Completed in 2008, the 2.85-acre park includes a playground and passive recreational space. The balance of the $975,000 project was financed with 4th Ward Aldermanic funds. The park is named for Hattie Kay Williams and Izora Davis, who devoted their lives to improving the surrounding community.

Open Space Impact Fees are generated by new residential development projects to accommodate open space needs within the City’s 77 formal community areas.

Park 557, 7211 N. Kedzie Ave.
Open Space Impact Fees in the amount of $24,000 will finance the installation of new lighting fixtures at Park 557 in West Ridge for the illumination of night time activities and safety purposes. The 1.6-acre linear park, acquired by the Chicago Park District in 2011, includes walking paths, benches and green space.

Buckthorn Playlot Park, 4345 S. Calumet Ave.
Buckthorn Park in Grand Boulevard will be expanded by the Chicago Park District onto 1.24 acres of adjacent, City-owned land through $1.14 million in Open Space Impact Fees. The funding will be used to design and construct amenities within the expansion area, which is planned to increase the park’s size by five times. The balance of the $1.2 million project will be paid by the Chicago Park District.

Lorraine Dixon Park Playground, 8917-19 S. Dauphin Ave.
Ownership of Lorraine Dixon Park Playground in Burnside will be transferred at no cost from the City to the Chicago Park District, which will manage it as public open space. In 2013, City Council approved $350,000 in TIF to support improvements to the .3-acre space, including playground upgrades, lighting and landscaping. The park is named for Lorraine L. Dixon, a former 8th Ward alderman who died in 2001 after a long battle with breast cancer.


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