Several years ago, the city of Portland came up with dramatic plans to convert a parking lot on the waterfront into a park to be enjoyed by the public. At the time, it was said that funds to make it happen would come from the sale of the land on which WEX is located.
Nothing much has been heard about the project – except City Councilor Justin Costa – saying no commitment for this Park has been made on several occasions. Doesn’t he want a Park?
That is until today – when mhn learned that the city has just issued a Request for Proposals for the Portland Landing Interim Park project. This destination park would include new sections of sea wall, a retrofit if Moontide Park, waterfront boardwalk, steps to the water, docks, even spaces, a new Community Boating Center and public water – according to the city’s document.
The document goes on to say: “Given he expected high cost for the full park design and the fact that it is expected to take many years to compare a funding plan for the full Portland Landing design, the city of Portland has decided to proceed with a scaled-back “interim” park design that will transform the site with temporary park-like features at a much lower cost. By implementing an “interim” or “pop-up park” on the site will be activated as a park while we continue to raise funds and public interest for the full park implementation in the future.”
The Interim Park according to the RFP will include: raised planter beds, reclaimed granite seat walls, trees and perennials, lawn areas, walking paths along the water’s edge, additional wooden guardrail, swing benches, granite benches, a small plaza area with space for events and/or food trucks and a small parking area and roadway that provides access to Sail Maine.
“The goal of the project is to provide an attractive and safe space for walkers, bikers, kids, adults, residents, visitors and nearby workers to congregate and enjoy the park, the views of the bay and Ft. Gorges,,,he project will beatify the area with planters, perennials, trees and grass, and will provide a resting spot for those traveling on the adjacent Eastern Prom Trail,” the project background concluded. Four companies have responded so far. Proposals must be at city hall purchasing department by October 29th at 3:00 pm.
What is happening to the rest of the proceeds from the sale of the WEX property?