DALLAS - There is one less parking lot and about to be one more park in downtown Dallas.
Dallas wants more green among the concrete gray downtown.
With Main Street Garden, people found an urban oasis and another is coming with the groundbreaking Thursday of the Belo Garden.
“It will feel like a garden, will draw you here as a garden," said Robert Decherd, chairman and CEO of A.H. Belo Corporation. "And the excitement of being surrounded by all of this urban activity will make it an even more distinctive experience.”
Along with Decherd, city officials attended the groundbreaking on the site between Main and Commerce streets across from the federal courts building.
At a cost of $14.5 million, the 1.8 acre park will be built on a former parking lot.
As a public-private partnership, the city spent over $8 million in bond money to buy and clean the land. Belo Corp., which owns News 8, and the Belo Foundation donated private dollars for the remaining cost. Decherd and his wife, Maureen, donated $1 million for a maintenance endowment.
Belo Garden will feature native Texas trees, grasses and flowers.
“If you look around downtown, we have so much concrete," said council member Angela Hunt, whose district is where the park will reside. "And, what makes downtown livable and urban spaces livable are green space.”
It's among four downtown parks planned. Another park is planned on Main Street and two others include the Woodall Rodgers deck park and one yet to be laid out.
Paul D. Dyer, the Dallas Park and Recreation director, said the parks are among a master plan.
“If you make this kind of investment downtown then people will enjoy it more and invest more of their time here," he said.
Construction begins soon and in about a year downtown will be greener.