Grand Central Park, which has provided a great outlet for local skaters and has been a great host to numerous events including this past weekend’s Basel Castle – will unfortunately close its doors. Its the largest temporary park in the U.S. and it will close permanently at the end of the year on December 31, 2013. Many attempts were made to keep operating and to meet rent and operating costs (which totaled $12,000 a month), but those efforts have come to an end and the park was forced to cut it lease early by about 10 months.
While its very sad in nature, the park did provide a great outlet for 2 years at the old Miami Arena site at 700 N Miami Avenue. It opened on January of 2012 and was well received since.
“We turned a heap of rocks into a great park with the help of a lot of amazing people in Miami. said Mark Lesniak, Executive Director of the Omni Parkwest Redevelopment Association Inc., the Florida non-profit corporation that built and manages the park. “It enjoyed a good run, brought a lot of attention to the neighborhood, and hopefully inspired a few people along the way.” said Mark Lesniak, Executive Director of the Omni Parkwest Redevelopment Association Inc., the Florida non-profit corporation that built and manages the park. “Unfortunately, at this point the only decision that makes sense financially is to close.”
The Park creators estimate that they have leveraged $12 million of positive economic impact to the community out of the $200,000 grant it received from the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Miami.
Bradley Knoefler, founder of the Omni Parkwest Redevelopment Association, said “It is sad to see the Park, a catalyst for so much community activity over the past few years, return to vacant land,” but he is satisfied with the overall project, which always had a finite lifespan since its initial inception. “We’ve accomplished an amazing amount over the past few years for a small volunteer community group.” He said, “The most important this is that we demonstrated implementation and concrete result. Now its time for others to take the baton and start providing safe community gathering spots and park spaces for Miami’s residents.”
Park officials are actively looking for an alternate location around the area to revive the park and with the community’s help, they will definitely succeed.
For questions and further information, please visit www.grandcentralpark.org or contact Bradley Knoefler at 305.527.7332