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Sarasota Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021 2 weeks ago

City shares design concepts for Rosemary District park

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Public feedback will guide the process of finalizing a design for a long-awaited neighborhood park.
by: David Conway Deputy Managing Editor

A new park in the heart of the Rosemary District will be an oasis of green space in an urban setting, featuring a flex lawn for events, grassy mounds and a winding walkway for foot traffic.

Or, the park will be predominantly paved, with a variety of recreational amenities such as cornhole sets, table tennis and foosball.

Or, the park will provide a mix of outdoor seating beneath trees, canopies and a large trellis.

These are the preliminary concepts the city has presented for a long-awaited park in the north-of-downtown neighborhood, a first step toward finalizing a design for the project.

Representatives with Kimley-Horn, the planning consultant the city is using, shared drawings of the three concept plans at the Rosemary Art and Design District Night Market on Nov. 18, part of an effort to solicit public input to refine the vision for the park.

 

The project team used public input to guide its plans for the initial concepts. The city used an online survey to ask residents about their desires for a small park in the Rosemary District, located near the intersection of Boulevard of the Arts and Central Avenue. The survey provided insight on what amenities respondents wanted to see in a park — shade trees, lighting, seating — and what activities they’d be likely to engage in — picnics, yoga, Movies in the Park events.

 

Planners intentionally provided a spectrum of concepts to give the community a better sense of the design options that are available to them. The concepts are far from final — if the public prefers the overall spirit of Concept A but is enthusiastic about a feature in Concept C, the designs can be adjusted to create a plan reflective of that input.

Representatives for the project team said they intended to launch an online survey for more feedback before returning to December’s installment of the Rosemary night market with two design concepts. The team hopes to have a final concept ready by late January.

The city approved funding for a park in the Rosemary District following a campaign from residents who expressed a desire for public green space in a rapidly redeveloping neighborhood.

Earlier this year, the city agreed to budget $890,000 to buy a quarter-acre tract at 531 Central Ave. and 1386 Boulevard of the Arts, with the Rosemary District Association raising an additional $120,000 to complete the purchase.

The city said it is in the process of securing quotes for the demolition of existing structures on the future park site. The city has no set timeline for the construction of the park, and that aspect of the plans will be finalized once a concept plan is selected.

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