A brand new $1.6 million park is now open in the burgeoning Arts District in Downtown LA. A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place on Saturday, Nov 5, celebrating the exciting grand opening of a much needed outdoor gathering space for a rapidly growing urban community that’s seeing unprecedented growth in both residential and commercial developments. Everywhere you look is something new coming to the next corner. With all that rapid change, there’s no doubt the new Arts District Park will play a significant role in supporting that future growth making the community more livable and inviting.
At only half an acre in size, the park is not very big, but it still makes a big impact on the community as it is efficiently designed to pack a lot of uses into a smaller footprint. Upon entering the park, you’ll realize that it’s got lots of places to sit and lounge. There are concrete benches scattered throughout along walkways and an area by the children’s playground with tables and chairs that’s perfect for bringing your lunch or enjoying a cup of coffee (i.e., from Urth Caffe next door perhaps?). And if you’re feeling like lounging on some grass, there’s a lot of that too. In addition, there’s a band shell area where future outdoor performances will be held that will be great for gathering the community together.
One of the most important things about creating a successful urban park is easy and convenient accessibility for pedestrians to walk to (think about how easy it is to get to a park in a pedestrian-oriented city like New York for instance). The new half-acre Arts District Park sits in an ideal location at the corner of 5th and Hewitt surrounded by a diverse range of uses (i.e., restaurants, residents, and office workers) that will help feed and activate the park throughout the day due to its close proximity. Directly across the street is the always-packed Urth Caffe as well as the 297-unit Barker Block condo building. In addition, the park is adjacent to the La Kretz Innovation Campus with its many office workers who now have a place to go outside for a breather. To further help make the park more accessible, there is a Metro bikeshare station conveniently located by the park’s front entrance.
The Arts District Park started construction almost two years ago in December 2014. It is now open every day from 5:30 am to 10:30 pm according the Arts District BID.