oldhometown posted at 06:00:52 PM on Aug 31, 2011:
Can someone explain to me what the appeal of Promenade Park is or would be to attract people and jobs? It's too small for joggers and too noisy for tai chi and yoga aficianados. Viewing it from Summit street, it sits in what looks like a hole. The river vista is not great (The Docks is much better, hands down). There are only a couple options for entertainment next door and one of them, Imagination Station, isn't something I would go to on a weekly, monthly, or even semi-annual basis (but then again I don't have kids). Fort Industry Square is 75% empty and the parking lot sits right on the riverfront, next door to the postage stamp-sized "park".
Side note--why hasn't anyone put the screws to that landlord to find out what the hell is the problem? With the Seagate Center, Huntington Center, 5/3 Field, the Radisson Hotel, Imagination Station, and the world headquarters of a major corporation literally steps away, you'd think that place would be teeming with stuff and people every day. Nope. Something is f'd up there...
Anyway, I just don't understand the fascination of city leaders with this little patch of land like it's the greatest city park this side of Central Park in NYC, Forest Park in St. Louis, or Golden Gate Park in San Francisco and we must lavish millions upon it. I don't see how spending 2.5 million on this little tract of downtown--that seemingly very few congregate in without an event going on--attracts business or jobs. What am I not seeing?
The thing about downtown parks such as this, and these parks attracting business is that you have to understand to what exact person is this space valuable. You could take the whole space and build a big amphitheater that takes all of it up, and it probably wouldnt be as good for adjacent business, as just planting a bunch of trees and flowers would. Promenade Park is an important park with a very relevant location, but unfortunately, besides Fort Industry Square, most of the buildings surrounding it arent designed in a manner where they would host businesses that would benefit greatly from the park. Most of Summit down that stretch is just hotels, offices, and parking garages, that have no valuable streetfront space for businesses the public would use. Theres no space for any cool restaurants or cafes or shops to open up. Places like restaurants, cafes, coffeeshops, etc would be attracted to a nice green space across the street from their sidewalk patios, and in my opinion thats the best purpose that this vacant square of grass could serve...(to just be scenic) and serve as a Town Square. As you said oldhometown, its not as if theres room for all kinds of physical activity here. And like I said, theres not really proper buildings around it for business to thrive off of it.
I think its good to consider the possibilites for Promenade Park, but honestly, I think any downtown revitalization efforts should currently focus on reinforcing the districts that are currently patronized by lots of people, such as the Warehouse District/Fifth Third Field, Adams Street Arts District, and the Arena District. Focus on making these areas robust and thriving.
If the majority of peoples priority is fixing as many roads as possible with this money, then thats where it should go, as opposed to this particular project, right now. Downtown revitalization is important, but peoples local streets are essential, right now, and Promenade Park isnt necessarily essential to the prime areas where development is taking place, right now.