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Glendale’s Fremont Park, nearing 100 years old, heads toward major renovation

Glendale Fremont Park renovation plan
A renovation plan for Fremont Park in Glendale calls for a new community building, pickleball courts and an artificial-turf soccer field. In the works since at least 2013, the changes are set to be made by the spring of 2022.
(Courtesy of David Volz Design)

Glendale’s Fremont Park, built in 1922, will be getting a major makeover for its 100th birthday.

By the spring of 2022, the nearly 8-acre park is slated for an overhaul that will include a new artificial-turf soccer field, interactive water feature, community building and pickleball courts, as well as upgrades to many existing features, according to the city’s renovation plan.

Councilwoman Paula Devine described it as a “very ambitious plan,” during a a special City Council meeting on Tuesday, where an update on the renovation of the park, located at 600 Hahn Ave. in north Glendale, was presented.

“It looks like it will be a beautiful park,” she said.

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While Councilman Vartan Gharpetian said, “I really like what we’re doing here,” he expressed frustration about how long it’s taking for the project to come to life, as well as the costs and fees attached to it.

The approximately $17-million project has been in the works since at least 2013, when funds to renovate the city’s oldest park were originally allocated.

The plan got the green light in 2015, with a price tag of about $9 million. When Costa Mesa-based David Volz Design was selected to design the project in 2016, the cost had already climbed to upwards of $12 million.

“I think we need to find a way to expedite this process, in general,” Gharpetian said. Several other council members echoed that sentiment.

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As part of the renovation — the first at Fremont Park since 1989 — there will also be a new walking path, shade structures for eight existing tennis courts, exercise equipment, barbecues, additional picnic tables and drought-tolerant landscaping.

Parking will be increased by 35 spots for a total of 70 spaces.

Construction, expected to begin in July 2020, will take about 80 weeks, according to a report given by Onnig Bulanikian, Glendale’s director of community services and parks, during the recent meeting.

At the meeting, City Council members voted to approve the construction documents and increase David Volz Design’s budget by about $230,000 to move forward with the next steps.

There is still a funding gap of about $5.1 million, according to the report.

Currently, the plan is to set aside the money during the budget planning process for the next fiscal year, which will begin on July 1.

However, City Council members can allocate the funds at a different time if they choose, Glendale City Manager Yasmin Beers said.

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