City plans $20 million Upgrade to Make Park a Regional Attraction
January 7, 2023
The Herald Bulletin, Ken De La Bastide
ANDERSON — Work is expected to start this spring on enhancements to Athletic Park in downtown Anderson, according to Mayor Thomas Broderick Jr.
During a presentation to the Anderson Redevelopment Commission on Thursday, Broderick said work on $20 million in upgrades to the park could start by April.
The Anderson Redevelopment Commission in 2020 pledged $20 million in tax increment financing revenues for the project.
The Anderson City Council will have to approve the issuance of any bonds in the future. Broderick said improvements to Athletic Park will make Anderson a regional draw. The proposal presented by Keith Sattler with HWC Engineering in 2020 included a drawing of proposed Athletic Park improvements, including an entry plaza and café, playgrounds, an aquatic center, rock climbing, performance stage and great lawn, and connections to existing trails.
The proposal included a Ferris wheel, several different water features and playground areas designed for different age groups. Broderick said there is a lot of additional growth that will take place in Anderson this year.
“We have seen increasing interest in investment by businesses over the last several months, as the economic effects of the pandemic become more normalized,” he said. “Anderson continues to be an attractive location for new businesses due to our location, our business friendly atmosphere, our workforce, and our city’s commitment to quality of- life amenities that all companies are looking for.”
Broderick said in 2023 the city expects to see additional industrial development, new jobs, small business openings, continued downtown redevelopment, and development along the west side corridor.
“We will be undertaking a major west side redevelopment that will complement the efforts previously made,” Broderick said. “I will be asking the Anderson Redevelopment Commission for redevelopment funds that will allow us to rebuild the corridor with retail and commercial business that will be able to serve the needs of our community.”
That development is expected to include a grocery and hardware store on the former Marsh property, currently owned by the Redevelopment Commission.
Broderick said the city has obtained a $300,000 grant and will provide matching funds for new playground equipment at Warren Miller, Jackson Park and the Shadyside Lake Park area.