What's happening at Beale $treet Landing?

We got a copy of the proposed Capital Improvements budget, and to our surprise and consternation, the cost of Beale Street Landing has jumped from $29-million to $47-million. What happened?

We’ve heard it’s an error by the finance department. Well, $18-million is a pretty big error.

Work on Beale Street Landing is supposed to start this fall, and cost is not the only looming question about this project. The original thought was to have something special at the foot of Beale. The original cost estimate was $10-million. Now, at either $29-million or $47-million, Beale Street Landing is sucking up a lot of money that could be cleaning up the Public Promenade, completing the Bluffwalk, and restoring the Cobblestone Landing, to name just a few of the public’s top priorities for the riverfront.

We’ve been told that the underground parking garage is gone from the plan - replaced by surface parking in Tom Lee Park. Where exactly? We’re not sure, and how will it affect runners, bikers, walkers, and those who love the view from South Bluff? Engineers have questions [PDF, 289KB] about whether the floating dock will work. Who’s going to use it? Who’s going to maintain it?

In an interview airing during May on WYPL TV-18, Fred Kent, the founder of Project for Public Spaces, told John Branston,
it could be a serious mistake in my view. We looked at the drawings, and we saw an extremely expensive design statement. The sort of round pods at different ways may look interesting, and I’m sure will get some mention in design journals. … We kept looking, but it really comes down to what do you do there?

Whatever the answer, it’s going to be an expensive place to do it.

The City Council will vote on whether to approve funding for Beale Street Landing. If you want to send your questions or comments to Councilmembers, click here.

The budget is posted in the library.

To read the "Flyer" article "Garage Gate Part II" and FfOR's review of Beale Street Landing, click here.