Early looks at plans for the parks and public spaces in Downtown Westminster were recently released. They show ambitious, creative designs that will make the new downtown a regional draw and make a strong statement to the city’s commitment to a unique urban experience.
The first plans for the Center Park, Central Plaza, East and South parks, and streetscapes were presented May 2 to Westminster City Council.
The designs were created by a team of national firms that have created some of the most iconic public spaces in the country. They were based on guidance provided by the Project for Public Spaces, recognized as the premier authority for best practices on public space, social dynamics and civic place making.
“We have put together a true dream team of talent to design these spaces, which are so vital to creating a unique sense of place and civic core for our downtown,” said Sarah Nurmela, real estate and development manager for the project.
Wenk Associates, Inc. was selected to design the Central Plaza and streetscapes; Sasaki Associates, Inc. the Center Park; and DTJ Design, Inc. the East and South parks.
More than 20 percent of the developable area in the project is being devoted to public spaces, according to Nurmela.
“It’s important to us that our new downtown is not just defined by the buildings and urban form, but are defined and experienced through great public spaces, like our parks and plaza,” she said. “When people talk about coming to our downtown, we want to make sure those places are truly memorable.”
Downtown Westminster’s parks will be constructed in phases in concert with the pace and location of the office, residential and retail development.
The first phase of parks work will begin in 2017 with building the Central Plaza and key streetscapes serving the first developments. This initial park work will seed the first phase of development projects with an active, vibrant public realm.
In addition to completing the Central Plaza and key streetscapes, interim improvements will also be made to the Center, East and South parks, such as grading and planting to facilitate early events and programming in the downtown. Completing the Center, East and South parks and the remaining streetscapes will be done as development occurs and funding is available.