The old Wildflower site and Silver Palm Park across the street will merge into one downtown waterfront destination.
The two sites sit on either side of the Intracoastal bridge on Palmetto Park Road. The city’s only dock in Silver Palm needed a redo. The size of a football field, Wildflower has the sprawling view.
But after lots of local feedback, separate plans didn’t sync. So, a combined park with a connector under the bridge was proposed and resoundingly approved.
“Water was the main element that ties both parks together,” EDSA design consultant Kona Gray told city council Monday.
Safety concerns at the busy Fifth Avenue intersection were raised. So were hours and ways to discourage people from living there.
“It’s not perfect but we have a consensus,” Mayor Scott Singer said at the end to move the process forward.
Costs estimated at $4 million each were conservative, and could be more or less, Gray said.
The next steps for the city are a site plan and design approval; permitting and bidding, and hiring a construction firm.
“Let’s shave off months where can,” Singer said. “We don’t have to take two years to build.”
Here are some design features council and speakers came up with:
- Wide waterfront promenades
- Moving restrooms that block the view in Silver Palm
- No vehicles under the well-lighted space under the bridge except county worker vehicles
- Canopies and existing shade trees for ample seating, including benches
- Interactive water feature and climbable public art as a playground for kids
- Overlooks that cantilever out over the water
- Use of already existing steps for motor-less launches like paddleboards and kayaks
- Floating wetlands
- Bike racks
- Space for food and beverage kiosks and trucks
- Ample car, boat and trailer parking
- Fish cleaning and boat washing stations
- Performance spaces but no constant noise to bother neighbors
City manager Leif Ahnell was asked to look again into buying the parcel on the corner.
By Marci Shatzman