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North Waterfront Park update

Post Date:11/05/2018 2:17 PM

North Waterfront Park renderingAt their agenda briefing on Monday, Nov. 5, City Council heard an update from staff and the designer about the future North Waterfront Park. 

The city has contracted with a firm to oversee design and construction of the park. A nationally-known landscape architecture firm was selected to design the park, as well as another company that will operate the park’s performance venue.

By coordinating all of these services prior to breaking ground, the development and construction of the park is more efficient and costs identified and finalized upfront, before construction begins.

The consultants provided the city with two options for the park, both of which are based on the public’s top priorities. The higher cost option includes higher quality materials that cost more upfront but last longer and require less maintenance. It also retains two key features not included in the lower cost version – a central water feature and a larger building that could be used for events being held in the park.

At their Oct. 16 meeting, City Council approved a sponsorship policy that will be utilized to generate private investment in the park. At least $3 to $4 million in additional funding is needed to build/include everything in the higher cost option. This type of sponsorship program is common for urban downtown parks across the country, especially for large parks that serve as a regional and/or national attraction as North Waterfront Park is expected to be. The park will not only serve as a regional destination because of the park and gardens on the riverfront, but also a national attraction because of the bands the stage venue and park will accommodate, which will be the largest on the NC/SC coast.

City staff will begin investigating sponsorship opportunities while finalizing design options and will report back to City Council early next year.

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