Coral Gables officials are planning to spend $320,000 fixing up Ingraham Park and improving safety at the adjoining intersection of Ingraham Terrace and LeJeune Road.
On July 7, city officials met with residents to hear their opinions about the site, which is now essentially an unimproved patch of grass.
City Commissioner Frank Quesada says the city can do more with the 21/4 acre park. City Hall is now in the planning stages of making major improvements to the park.
“We think it’s a great way to keep people off the street and make it safer, as well as beautify the city,” Quesada said.
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Improvements are being designed by landscape architect George Puig, and will include trellised walkways for pedestrians, bike paths for bikers, a fountain in the middle of the park, and an exercise area with outdoor exercise equipment that can be used by people of all ages.
There will be four entrances into the park, and an outer and inner loop around the park; bikers will be encouraged to use the outer loop, while pedestrians will be encouraged to use the inner. According to the Public Works Director Glenn Kephart, construction of this project will begin in about a year and it will take around three months to complete.
Are residents voiced certain concerns such as maintaining the property once the park was built, traffic around the area, and parking during a major storm, such as a hurricane. All of these concerns will be discussed and incorporated into the final stages of the park planning, city officials said.
The city also is planning improvements to the William H. Kerdyk Tennis Center at the Biltmore Hotel. Because of the constant usage of these courts, Javier Salmon, a principal of Corzo Castella Carballo Thompson Salmon Architects Engineers Planners, will be working with the city to renovate the tennis courts at this facility. The $2.25 million in renovations will include the consolidation of two tennis courts into one, creating a removable seating area for people to watch matches, and new lamps to light up the courts. There will also be the renovation of a plaza for people to sit and relax in. This project should be complete within the next year.
“The facility is tired and needs rejuvenation,” said City Manager Pat Salerno. “We can make it on par with other Coral Gables facilities.”