Home City park San Antonio City Council Approves $ 27.9 Million Contract for Public Park in Hemisfair

San Antonio City Council Approves $ 27.9 Million Contract for Public Park in Hemisfair

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City council on Thursday approved a $ 27.9 million construction contract for the first phase of Civic Park, a nine-acre public park in downtown Hemisfair.

Executives of the Hemisfair Park Area Redevelopment Corp., a nonprofit organization tasked with revitalizing the 1968 World’s Fair site, and city officials are seeking to develop the park as a venue for many events and outdoor activities.

Skanska USA will build an expansive event lawn with up to 15,000 attendees, a shaded boardwalk and water features next to the Henry B. González Convention Center.

“We are one step closer to delivering one of the world’s largest public places,” said Andres Andujar, CEO of HPARC.

The total cost of the park’s first phase is $ 39 million, including $ 21 million from the city’s 2017 bond package and the remainder from philanthropic donations and rental income.

Council members also approved an increase in a $ 6.3 million agreement with architectural firm GGN for design services to $ 976,741; transfer $ 609,822 from a municipal fund to plant trees; and the reallocation of $ 9.3 million in 2016 bond certificates for the park.

An inauguration ceremony is scheduled for the end of January.

HPARC is trying to secure funding for the second phase of the civic park, which will include the entrance to the park. The association has requested $ 20 million in the city’s 2022 bond package; city ​​staff recommended that she receive $ 18 million.

Civic Park renderings planned in Hemisfair.

Courtesy of Hemisfair Park Area Redevelopment Corp.

Civic Park will be the second of Hemisfair’s three parks. The Yanaguana Garden opened in 2015, and a park near the Tower of the Americas is also in the works.

Plans for mixed-use development around Civic Park are still unclear.

Board members gave the green light in 2017 to lease space for up to 97 years to Zachry Hospitality, a Zachry Corp. company. Under the public-private partnership, the company would pay HPARC around $ 1.5 million per year and a slice of the retail revenue.

Zachry Corp. presented its project the following year: a $ 200 million development with a hotel, office tower, food market, underground parking lot and apartments built by developer NRP Group.

But parties involved are now reassessing the plans due to the expense and difficulty of building underground parking and the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the hospitality, retail and office sectors. The PNR has not been involved for some time.

The uses will remain the same, but the size and square footage of the various components could change, city leaders and officials told council members in February.

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