Horton Plaza Plans Move Forward

Project developers narrow down a design concept

A Horton Plaza Project update was presented to the board of directors of the Centre City Development Corp. Wednesday afternoon. Of the three conceptual designs, one was highlighted as a front runner to the board.

Project coordinators were able to show board members a potential design based on public input. The leading schematic featured a digital art screen, trellis structures, luminarias, public seating, a media wall and auditorium seating.

Public comment regarding the project has helped to guide the design process. Earlier plans did not receive high marks from community members, but a series of meetings allowed the public to convey their needs for the space.

Tuesday night more than 70 people went to a meeting to hear a 45-minute presentation about the park, CCDC spokesperson Michelle Gannon said.

General concerns project coordinators took into consideration were shade, water use and art. During public comment, people expressed the need for covered areas and implementing visual aspects into the renovated space. Because of water use costs the public did not push for the construction of extra fountains, but the historical park fountain will be restored.

The CCDC estimates the cost of the construction at $8 million, with design costs at $1.2 million. It will be paid through downtown redevelopment funds generated by the Horton Plaza project area, according to CCDC. Westfield will maintain, manage and program the historic park and new plaza for 25 years at an estimated cost of $8.3 million.

Plans will be further refined in September and design specifications will take place next year. Gannon said the CCDC hopes to begin project bidding in January 2013.

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