A new public park will be opening Downtown in 2020, the Downtown Redevelopment Authority has announced. Slated to take over a lot on San Jacinto, Fannin, Bell and Leeland Streets, where a Goodyear Auto Service currently resides, the new part is expected to service the folks gobbling up some 1,5000 new residential units that have hit the south downtown area in the last five years, as well as downtown visitors.
Since 2012, the Downtown Living Initiative has been reshaping the southern part of downtown to make it appealing to home owners and renters, and the new park is the next effort to help solidify the area's changing identity, which—along with new streetscaping and retail—could potentially attract more residents. The park is also part of Plan Downtown, which the DRA released in November 2017, hoping to bring a combination of new parks and retrofitted open spaces to anchor the area's new developments and attractions over the next 20 years.
"This new Southern Downtown park space will serve as a backyard for nearby residents and a ‘third place’ that will anchor community life and foster experiences for Houstonians and visitors alike," says Bob Eury, DRA president.
His colleague, Xavier Peña, DRA board chairman, adds, “Great cities are defined by their public spaces, both large and small. Here in Downtown Houston, Discovery Green, which anchors Avenida Houston, and the much smaller Market Square Park located in Downtown’s Historic District, are two hugely successful parks that have had a catalytic effect on the areas surrounding them. We believe this new park can be equally dynamic, and, in its own way, become the heart of a new neighborhood and an economic development tool for future growth.”
The DRA will be reaching out to the community for its input later this spring, and construction will likely begin in 2019, with an opening date set for summer 2020.