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Construction begins on Jefferson Street parklet

by Ben OlivoFeb 19, 2019
Workers install pieces of a parklet on Monday on Jefferson Street next to the Burns building. BEN OLIVO | HERON

A crew has begun assembling a parklet on Jefferon Street, along side the historic Burns building, 401 E. Houston St.

The mini park, which consumes about 1,100 square feet of curb-side parking on the east side of Jefferson—from Peacock Alley to Houston Street—should be completed by next Friday, said Luis Miguel Martinez, urban development manager for AREA Real Estate, the company that is installing the public space.

AREA Real Estate, developer David Adelman's company, has also renovated the Burns.

So far this week, a crew started to install steel railings, weather-proof Trex decking (a wood fiber and plastic composite), and concrete blocks that will also serve as planters for palo verde trees and about five types of native grass.

"That was one of the highlights of construction—all the concrete blocks you can assemble and disassemble," Martinez said. "They're like Legos."

Once the park is assembled, AREA Real Estate will choose and place the furniture—a combination of tables and chairs, and rocking chairs, Martinez said.

Martinez estimates the park will fit about 30 to 40 people. Architecture firm dwg. of Austin said last year that the modular parklet can be disassembled in two days, if needed.

Martinez said he didn't know the exact cost of the parklet, the bill for which AREA is mostly footing, he said, until after the furniture is purchased.

In December, the City Council approved a Houston Street Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone incentive worth up to $255,880, and a Chapter 380 economic development loan agreement worth up to $446,895 (taken from the Inner City Incentive Fund fiscal year 2019 budget) for public upgrades associated with the historic preservation of the circa-1913 Burns building, construction of the parklet, and finish-out of the first floor retail spaces. Martinez didn't know how much of those finds would be applied toward the parklet project. An inquiry to the Center City Development and Operations department was not immediately returned.

The parklet will occupy four metered parking spots, which the city will license to AREA Real Estate at $800 per year for 10 years. The city estimates it will forgo about $3,700 in revenue from the four spots.

A single spot at Jefferson and the alley will remain available for commercial use.

Concrete blocks occupy Jefferson Street last week. BEN OLIVO | HERON

Previously published
» Jefferson Street parklet headed to Council
» Parklet concept next to Burns building gets approval

Contact Ben Olivo: 210-421-3932 | ben@saheron.com | @rbolivo on Twitter

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