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PHX Advances Hance Park Revitalization

Credit: City of Phoenix

By Jessica Boehm for The Arizona Republic

Phoenix is inching closer to a grand revamp of Margaret T. Hance Park, which sits atop Interstate 10’s Deck Park Tunnel in downtown Phoenix.

Hance Park is home to Burton Barr Library, the Japanese Friendship Garden, the Irish Cultural Center and McClelland Irish Library, and the Phoenix Center for the Arts. It has played host to major events like the McDowell Mountain Music Festival and the March Madness Music Festival.

But many believe the park has yet to reach its full potential. Outside of major events, the park is underutilized.

For years, Phoenix and community organizations have tried to revitalize the 32-acre park in hopes of transforming it into Phoenix’s equivalent of Central Park in New York City or Millennium Park in Chicago.

“Every great city has a great park in its downtown. Phoenix is lucky to be able to have 32.5 acres literally in its downtown that’s a blank slate to be able to develop,” Hance Park Conservancy President Tim Sprague said.

Phoenix released conceptual renderings of Hance Park several years ago, but the new designs are “more realistic” and show what the city and its partners believe they can accomplish, according to city spokesman Gregg Bach.

Raising $100M to Revitalize

The renderings will also help sell the project to potential donors – the next major hurdle in the revitalization project. The project’s estimated price tag is between $80M-$100M, most of which will come from private donations.

The timeline of the park revitalization project depends on how quickly money is raised, Bach said.

About two years ago, the Phoenix Parks and Recreation DepartmentPhoenix Community Alliance and Hance Park Conservancy formed the Hance Park Partner Coalition, which will serve as the fundraising arm of the project.

Devney Preuss, executive director of the Phoenix Community Alliance, and Sprague said the group is actively raising money for the park.

Preuss said the coalition is offering sponsorship and naming rights opportunities and accepting other contributions.

Read more at The Arizona Republic.

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