Avondale Estates town green construction can be viewed via livestream on city’s websiteAvondale Estates Mayor Jonathan Elmore, former Commissioner Adela Yelton, City Manager Patrick Bryant, Mayor Pro Tem Brian Fisher and Commissioners Lionel Laratte, Dee Merriam and Lisa Shortell celebrate the beginning of construction on the town green at the groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday, June 30. Photo by Zoe Seiler.
To watch the livestream, click here. The video can be found on the homepage of the Avondale Estates city website.
The Avondale Estates City Commission broke ground on the town green project on June 30 alongside City Manager Patrick Bryant, Downtown Development Authority Chair Dave Deiters and some of the consultants who have worked on the project along the way. Construction is anticipated to be finished in nine months.
The project includes the construction of four-acres of the land along Highway 278/ North Avondale Road between Lake and Oak Streets. About two acres will be a park and the other two acres will be an interim solution and potential commercial solution.
“I’d like to start by saying this is a truly big day for Avondale Estates and it’s one we’ve been working on for a very long time and this is a project that we have all agreed on after years of discussion and debate,” Mayor Jonathan Elmore said during the groundbreaking ceremony. “It represents what we can do together as a community.”
The city’s 2014 downtown master plan included converting this acreage into a park. In 2018, Avondale launched an open, public process to determine the best use of the land. “Entry number nine” was the favorite and the concept was submitted by Avondale resident and local architect Sheri Locke in May 2019. Locke’s design included commercial buildings next to the road and a public green space behind them, Decaturish previously reported.
The original scope of the project included the mixed-use commercial development but Bryant said at the Feb. 10 City Commission meeting that the commercial element is not feasible at this time. In its place, the developers will create an open-air green space that can be used as for things like food trucks or event platforms.
The city reached an agreement and executed a memorandum of understanding with Fabric Developers in November 2019. Fabric Developers worked with their architectural firm, Stevens and Wilkinson, to select the design and construction firms. The City Commission approved a contract with Site Solutions to complete the design of the town green in December 2019.
The Urban Redevelopment Agency approved a contract in May 2021 with Reeves Young for the project construction. The base bid came in at $5.7 million which includes the construction of the park, stormwater, construction of a new street and the interim solution. Additionally, Reeves Young will add a fountain to the park and more lighting along Lake Street.
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