Landscape architects will soon begin designing Gateway Park and Urban Plaza, with construction crews likely hitting the ground as early as next summer.
Portland Parks & Recreation, which owns the 3.2-acre parcel at Northeast 106th Avenue and Halsey Street, buy where the $8.2-million park will be built, opened bids for designing the park in late July.
PLACE, a Portland landscape architecture firm, was awarded the bid in September.
Since then, PP&R staff and PLACE consultants have been negotiating the contract and devising a work plan before actual design work begins around February 2015, according to George Lozovoy, PP&R project manager for the park. The design of the park is expected to be finished by November 2015.
The Portland Development Commission board recently approved chipping in $1 million of the total cost from its Gateway Regional Center urban renewal budget, including $200,000 in fiscal year 2014-15 and $800,000 in fiscal year 2015-16, according to Anne Mangan, senior communications coordinator for PDC.
The PDC owns one acre next to the park abutting Northeast Halsey Street where it plans to construct a building, possibly with a restaurant or other retail on the first floor, though what will be located in the building is still undecided.
PP&R’s portion of $7.2 million will come from system development charges.
In November, PP&R and the city of Portland issued a Request for Proposal, or RFP for a Construction Manager/General Contractor for the park. A similar RFP was also issued for a CM/GC for Beech Park, which will be built off Northeast 126th Avenue and Beech Street. The bids will likely be due by mid-January, and the contractor will be on board by February or March 2015, Lozovoy said.
This type of general contractor sits on the design team, allowing for them to “understand the design better; he provides input into the design, and he provides cost estimates for the design, and he identifies any risks that we need to be aware of,” Lozovoy said.
A contractor participating in this way “is a more cost-effective and efficient way of completing projects.”
The hope is to create two phases of construction so part of it would start as early as this summer and the rest would be completed the following summer, Lozovoy said.
“The contractors rely on the good weather,” he explained. “Sometimes it’s not until the fourth of July until the end of September for real construction. So if there’s a way to phase the work, we could have two good seasons of very good weather.”
PP&R held a contractors fair November 18 to inform potential contractors about details of the park projects.
The park contains features outlined in the master plan devised three years ago. These features include a public plaza along Northeast Halsey Street, an adventure and nature play area, a water fountain feature, looping trails, a picnic area, a space for concerts, outdoor films and public events, a restroom and other features.
There is a possibility that Harpers Playground, a nonprofit, will attempt to raise at least $250,000 towards a universally accessible play area for Gateway Park, according to Mark Ross, media relations spet for PP&R. “Harper’s Playground raised the funds for its namesake playground in our Arbor Lodge Park, the first accessible-for-all playground in our system. The playground at Washington Park is 70 percent accessible.”
The agency is also soliciting applicants for a Citizens Advisory Committee, “who will play a significant role in the design of the park and the play area,” Ross said.
For more information about applying for the Advisory Committee, call George Lozovoy at 503-823-5595, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information is at the PP&R website: www.PortlandParks.org.