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North, south improvements set for downtown Phoenix Civic Space Park

Civic Space Park looking north towards historic U.S. Post Office

[Source: Salvador Rodriguez, ASU Downtown Devil] — The city of Phoenix will break ground to expand the Civic Space north toward the U.S. Post Office in late April and will begin to renovate Central Station this summer, the project managers said Tuesday.  Tom Byrne, Civic Space expansion project manager, said the construction will add more trees and green space and will grow the park by nearly a half-acre.

Byrne also said the expansion will give the Civic Space another shade structure and area adjacent with the Federal Post Office’s truck dock that could potentially be used as a second stage.   Byrne said expansion should be complete sometime next fall and said the construction will be of “little impact to anybody using the building and/or the site.”

The city of Phoenix will use stimulus money to make Central Station more sustainable and convenient for passengers, said Mark Melnychenko, principal planner and project manager.   “That’s really the key, especially in our environment, to make (Central Station) a pleasant passenger area,” he said.

Melnychenko said the city will renovate the building at Central Station, use LED fixtures, add shade structures similar to the ones used for light rail stations, and will add a photovoltaic system to the building’s roof to power some of the station with solar energy. Melnychenko said the city chose to renovate Central Station but cause it is key to their public transportation system.  “It’s really a connecting point for transit for the central city,” he said.

The renovated Central Station will no longer include the historic display of past Phoenix buses located at its southwest corner, which will be moved off-site, Melnychenko said.   Also, Melnychenko said Central Station will match the Civic Space by adapting its color scheme and using a lot of similar plant life.  The project is expected to be complete in early 2011, Melnychenko said.  [Note: Read the full article at North, south improvements set for downtown Phoenix Civic Space Park.]

New downtown Phoenix park taking shape

Sky Bloom

Javier Jara works on the new downtown Phoenix park (photo: Michael Schennum, Arizona Republic)

[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] — The $30 million park taking shape in downtown Phoenix will be like no other the city has built, officials say.  The yet-unnamed spot will use water, lights, shade, and art to create an oasis for nearby Arizona State University students, office workers, residents, and tourists, landscape architect Tom Byrne said. “The concept of the park was an urban weave, so we are weaving together the neighborhood around the park, the offices and ASU,” Byrne said.

The park, which is expected to open in March, covers 2.77 acres and sits in the city’s business district. It’s bound by Central and First avenues and Polk and Fillmore streets.  The park is one of several multimillion-dollar projects — including light rail, a hotel, and expanded convention center — that city leaders hope will revitalize downtown.  To be sure, it’s not as big as New York’s sprawling Central Park or Chicago’s Millennium Park. But it is expected to be a key gathering place in downtown Phoenix and a long-awaited addition to Arizona State University.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]