Cesar Chavez Memorial Plaza Renovations Coming Soon
After two years of planning and organization, renovations will begin on Feb. 6 for the Cesar Chavez Memorial Plaza. Since its construction 150 years ago, the park has been renovated many times to maintain it and adapt it to the new needs of the public.
“It’s a prominent public space, and I’m looking forward to giving it a facelift,” said J. P. Tindell, park planning and development manager of the Sacramento Department of Parks and Recreation.
Lisa Martinez, marketing director for the Downtown Sacramento Partnership (DSP), also said that she looks forward to the “beautification efforts” on the park. The DSP is known for holding many events in the park, including Friday Night Concerts in the Park and the Wednesday Farmers Market.
“The city’s doing their best to make sure the community’s aware of (the renovations),” Martinez said, “and to make sure the business community isn’t negatively impacted.”
The renovations are meant to enhance the park by reducing maintenance and improving the functionality for events like concerts and the Farmers Market. One example is the extension of the walkway from the perimeter sidewalk to the center plaza, which will lengthen the walkway by around a third of its current size and provide direct access to the center plaza from 10th street. Tindell said this part of the park is often used for the beer garden during summer concerts, and replacing turf with walkway will minimize wear and tear on the turf.
Tindell said that this park in particular has more traffic than most in Sacramento, and it has to be renovated more often to compensate. There are three phases of renovations, and while they can be extensive – from placing new benches to raising the stage – Tindell said they want to avoid closing the park.
“We’re not planning on closing it,” Tindell said. “We don’t want to negatively impact the community.”
Tindell said the entire cost of all three phases will be around $800,000. Tindell said that the budget funding comes from the Quimby Act funds, which authorizes local agencies to establish laws requiring new development to pay in-lieu fees for parks. City and state law won’t allow these funds to offset staff operation and maintenance costs.
Tindell added that she and others who’ve planned this for years want to recognize all events held in the park and help them, and help all surrounding businesses as well.
“It’s the front lawn of the City Hall,” Tindell said, “and it should be kept at some level of maintenance.”
The city plans for phases one and two to be completed before concerts begin in May, and phase three should begin toward the end of the year.