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Republic Services, Inc. announced a $2 million sponsorship deal with the Hance Park Partner Coalition, a boon for the revitalization of Margaret T. Hance Park as a future public, cultural destination.
Under the agreement, their contribution funds a one-acre section of the park, called the Republic Services Garden, filled with native pants, 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) is helping lead fundraising efforts for the park’s revitalization, and brokered the $2 million sponsorship of the new garden. Preuss notes that the park’s proximity to light rail and family-friendly elements help define it as 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 to build Fiesta Bowl PLAY, a playground and anchor within the reimagined space.
The new garden will be located immediately north of the Irish Cultural Center, west of the Central Avenue bridge. The goal is to complete the garden by 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 parks department and the Hance Park Conservancy.
Transforming the park into an active part of city and cultural living has been a long-standing initiative for Phoenix Community Alliance and its board chairs.
The Republic Services Garden highlights the city’s dedication to sustainability: A mixture of more than 30 desert plants, almost 60 trees, and 4,000 plants and various shrubbery – known to thrive in desert climates with low-water usage. Additionally, recycled steel canopies along seating areas will be erected, and walking paths and energy-efficient LED security lighting installed to ensure safe daily usage for all.
Fundraising from strategic partners for the remaining phases are still ongoing by PCA for the renewal of the public space.
From an economic development standpoint, the finished park can incentivize downtown as an economic driver — for everything from relocating business, individuals and students, to providing 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.