CARY, N.C. (WNCN) – The Cary Town Council voted Thursday night to approve the master plan for a $50 million downtown park, which town leaders hope will lead to more investment in that area.
The town is working with OJB Landscape Architecture on the project, which more than a hundred people came to see Thursday afternoon at town hall.
Doug McRainey, the town’s director of park, recreation and cultural resources, said now that the council has approved the master plan, design work will begin in May. Construction is expected to begin in the fall of 2020, with the project completed in 2022.
Town leaders will ask voters to support a bond this October that will help to pay for the park along with other projects in the town, McRainey said.
“Our goal for this park is a park that unifies the downtown, but a park that all of Cary identifies with, whether you’re west of N.C. 55 or south of U.S. 1,” said McRainey. “We want a park that will energize the downtown but also be a catalyst for investment in downtown.”
During an open house, residents got a chance to see a virtual simulation of concepts for what the park could look like based on citizen feedback received so far.
“We’ve got the plan. We do not want to hesitate at all. We want to move ahead with it, get the funding for it, get it built so people can come out and begin to enjoy it,” said McRainey.
To see video and images of designs for the park and its various features, click here.
Cary resident Chuck Hogan came to town hall Thursday to see the designs.
“Now that I see what they’re going to do afterward, I’m all for it,” he said.
Gretchen Bimrose lives on Park Street near the planned park and has concerns about whether she’ll be able to afford to continue living there.
“All this going on has raised the property taxes, and as a matter of fact, has raised the taxes in my home where I live to the point where I will not be able to afford to stay in my home,” she said. “And I will have to move. Where? I don’t know.”
In 2012, 69 percent of voters approved a bond referendum that included funding to begin work on the park.