In a boon for the finished revitalization of Margaret T. Hance Park as a public, cultural destination of generations to come, Republic Services, Inc. announced a $2 million sponsorship deal with the City of Phoenix toward that goal.
Under the agreement, their contribution funds a one-acre section of the park, called the Republic Services Garden, filled with fertile native pants and shaded walking and seating.
“Something we learned during the pandemic is these public open spaces are no longer an amenity but a necessity,” said Devney Preuss, president and CEO of Downtown Phoenix Inc. “And once revitalized, Hance Park will be even more important aspect to people’s urban life.”
Phoenix Community Alliance (PCA) was instrumental in brokering the $2 million sponsorship of the new garden. Preuss notes the park’s proximity to light rail, phase one family-friendly elements and as a free public good define it a vital landmark in the making for generations to come.
In 2018, PCA created a partnership with the Fiesta Bowl organization, leading to a $2 million public pledge by the latter they built as Fiesta Bowl PLAY, a playground (and then-new anchor), of this reimagined space.
The eventual park is located immediately north of the Irish Cultural Center, west of the Central Avenue bridge. The goal is to complete the garden for February 2023, when Phoenix hosts Super Bowl LVII.
The Revitalization Project’s roots exist as the Hance Park Partner Coalition, a public-private compact of allied entities including PCA, City of Phoenix’s Parks Department and Hance Park Conservancy, for fundraising.
Transforming the park into an active part of city and cultural living has been a long-standing initiative for Phoenix Community Alliance, a philosophy shared by its many board chairs and is arguably the hinge event that helped birth PCA after a stagnation of the downtown core in the early 1980s.
It will be a project to highlight the city’s dedication toward recycling and official sustainability policy as a whole when completed. A mixture of more than 30 desert plants, almost 60 trees, and 4,000 plant and various shrubbery – known to thrive in desert climates and its low-water usage – make up the Republic Services Garden. Additionally, they will erect recycled steel canopies along seating areas and walking paths and energy efficient LED security lighting to ensure daily and safe usage for all.
Fundraising from strategic partners for phase one is still ongoing by PCA for the renewal of the public space. From the economic development standpoint, the finished park can incentivize downtown as an economic driver – for everything from relocating business, individuals and students – and provide retention of residents.
“Once it’s revitalized, it becomes that northern gateway into downtown as it grows and evolves,” Preuss said. “We’re really unique to have two and a half acres basically in the middle of our downtown.”
To learn more about Hance Park Revitalization Project, visit: The Margaret T. Hance Park Revitalization Project (phoenix.gov)