Alderman: Broad Street not best place for skatepark
Deane, president of the Board of Aldermen, said the Broad Street parcel is “probably not the best place” for the skatepark.The existing skatepark on Bridge Street is about to be demolished to make way for a major development project by Renaissance Downtowns, LLC, which includes more than 200 apartment units.
A petition was previously created urging city officials to find a new site for the skate facility before the current structure is razed.After reviewing numerous city-owned parcels, the 44 Broad St. site was initially recommended for the park's new home. The Broad Street property was previously taken by eminent domain as part of the Broad Street Parkway project; however, that parcel is no longer needed since the original path of the future roadway has since been altered.“At this time, I don't have any interest in pursuing the 44 Broad St. location,” Deane told the aldermanic Infrastructure Committee Wednesday.
That parcel, according to Deane, could serve as a gateway into the millyard once the parkway is completed. Placing the skatepark at that site may not be the best idea, as the parcel could be ideal for different development opportunities, he said.Instead, Deane said he will be working with representatives from the city's Business and Industrial Development Authority to investigate other pieces of land and different options for the skatepark.
Specifically, there is property at the rear of the Renaissance project that abuts the river and could possibly be a good site for the skateboard park, said Deane. There is also a soccer field in that vicinity that might also be appropriate space, he added.As for now, Deane said he plans to sit down with the BIDA and seek its advice on the matter. The new skatepark is estimated to cost up to $500,000, with fundraisers ongoing for the project. So far, $270,000 has been approved for the facility, but the location still hasn't been finalized.On Wednesday, several residents spoke out against the Broad Street site as the park's home.Kelly Maribito, of 2 Sullivan St., said the neighborhood is filled with senior citizens, and a skatepark should be housed where there are more children and families.
“I don't want to be policing this,” said Maribito, who fears the park would decrease her home's value and make it more challenging for her to sell in the future.Bobbie Smith, owner of Creative Years Child Development and Learning Center at 30 Broad St., said that area of the city is incredibly busy with traffic and school buses. While not opposed to a skatepark, Smith said the nearby train tracks, coupled with a skatepark, could possibly prompt vandalism and graffiti.Neal Barrett, a commercial real estate broker, said the skatepark could be a nice amenity for the city, but he said more analysis must be done to find an ideal site. Other parcels - not just city-owned property - should be considered, he firstname.lastname@example.org