SANTA MONICA—The Santa Monica City Council revealed on Tuesday, October 15, that they are moving forward with the Memorial Park Redevelopment and Expansion Project. The council agreed to begin the first and second phase of the three phase project to create an “inviting, accessible, and thoughtfully designed community space” that includes plans to:
- Improve amenities for existing uses
- Increase field space with a focus on diamond sports
- Consider the park’s relationship to the surrounding neighborhood and City context
- Community programs such as the gymnasium, Santa Monica Police Activities League (PAL), and fitness facilities
- Integrate components of the City’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Action Plans
- Integrate appropriate buffering along busy vehicular corridors
Construction will take place in three phases to minimize disruption to the existing park. The cost for phase 1 is approximately $25 – $30 million in capital costs with an 18 – 24-month timeline. Phase 2 is approximately $15 – $18 million with a 12 – 18-month timeline.
The Memorial Park Redevelopment and Expansion Project is part of the Memorial Park Master Plan, a plan which combines the existing 10.3 acre Memorial Park with the former Fisher Lumber site. The Fisher Lumber site is a city-owned, 2.9-acre property adjacent to the existing park that will be utilized into a newly renovated and expanded community park. Memorial Park was established in the 1950s and serves as the primary park for baseball and softball and is home to the city’s only public gymnasium and skate park.
Councilmember Ted Winterer stated that the projects primary objective was to provide a safe, welcoming environment for community members to engage in more outdoor activities together with new amenities. Over 1,000 park users, residents, and stakeholders participated in the master planning process.
After councilmembers concluded on moving forward with the first two phases of the project, they directed city staff to evaluate issues, including:
- Making the midblock entrance on 14th Street more pedestrian-friendly
- Rotating fields 3 and 4 to increase permeability near the Metro Expo Line Station
- Feasibility of incorporating 16th Street into the park
- Activating the temporary practice field for passive recreational uses
- Adding more flexibility for use and community amenities such as BBQs
- Retaining a dog run
- Considering all recommendations made by the Recreation and Parks Commission
City staff will return to City Council in January 2020 for approval with the selected design-build team to provide design and pre-construction services for phases 1 and 2 of the master plan. Staff will also begin preparing the environmental impact analysis.