Board: Pack Square Park construction is near

The Pack Square Conservancy got some good news Wednesday: A long-awaited $7.5 million contract on construction of Pack Square Park in downtown Asheville will likely be signed this week.

Once the deal with Valley Crest Landscape Design Inc. is inked, construction should be in full gear by early to mid June, according to Mark Durbin, the owner’s representative for the Pack Square Conservancy. Durbin said the contract was in the process of being updated and then forwarded to Asheville City Manager Gary Jackson for his signature.

The start of construction will be a milestone in a project that has been marked by setbacks and rising costs, and there’s been controversy over design elements in the park. The Pack Square Conservancy was formed in 2000 by an agreement with it, Asheville City Council and the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners. The conservancy was given the authority for overseeing the planning, design, fundraising and construction of the 6.5-acre park.

The board of local leaders broke ground at the site in 2005. Last year, the conservancy said the project was expected to cost $17.5 million. At the conservancy’s meeting Wednesday, the board said the cost was expected to be $22 million.

At the meeting Wednesday, conservancy board members expressed concern about the construction’s impact on local businesses in the area. The board is planning a meeting later this month to explain details of the construction to business owners.

— Jason Sandford, multimedia editor






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3 thoughts on “Board: Pack Square Park construction is near

  1. Anne

    Just today I was thinking of calling the Conservancy and complaining about the stalled construction and its effects on our town. I sure liked the plaza the way it used to be. I still miss those beautiful flowering cherry trees that were sacrificed for what I see as a boondoggle. How much longer will it take and how much more money will it cost? I doubt the final product will be worth it.

  2. David

    I feel like I have been robbed. It is a disgrace that they have left our downtown park in shambles for the past three or so years. One bulldozer, four guys and one shovel and some hay. WTF? Who was in charge of this mess?

  3. James P. Fisher

    While I understand that this type of project tends to hit snags and unforseen circumstances, I wonder about the final result,too. I have heard from people who work on booking and setting up the logistics for events and they say the design is flawed. I walked around the other day and tried to picture a sunny day with people out listening to music and having a good time. I am hopeful that, in the end, Asheville will have a beautiful and much-needed central space. It is hard to be optimistic,though, when so little seems to be progressing. Let’s hope that this 7.5 million gets us where we need to be! Use it well Conservancy and run a tight ship!!!!!

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