Fremont Park — Glendale’s oldest park — is poised for a major overhaul that will include a new community building, soccer field and pickleball courts after a big push from local fans of the sport popular among middle-aged adults and seniors.
Last week, the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Commission supported the Fremont Park Master Plan, which outlines several upgrades with a price tag upward of $9 million.
The plan is expected to head to the City Council for consideration at a meeting in December.
Built in 1922, the 8-acre park at 600 Hahn Ave. is surrounded by a residential neighborhood. It has eight tennis courts, four of which — under the plan — would be relocated elsewhere on the site as part of shuffling park amenities around to make way for the new soccer field.
The tennis courts are currently lit at night and would be modified to allow for pickleball — a blend of Ping-Pong, tennis and Wiffle Ball — to be played. Four games can be played simultaneously on one tennis court.
Resident and pickleball player Lee Stephen said people who play the low-mobility sport tend to have day jobs and usually aren’t free to play until the evening. She requested that the lights remain illuminated at the tennis courts until the park closes at 10 p.m.
“We really want something we can use all year,” she said.
Many pickleball devotees requested space to play the game during two community meetings held earlier this year aimed at gathering feedback about the master plan.
City officials and consultants said Fremont Park is heavily used and situated in a dense area of the city. Adding more shaded seating will also be part of its face-lift.
“There’s a lot of trees, but we don’t have enough shade over those spaces, so we have two large group spaces that will be solid-roofed,” said David Volz, a landscape architect hired by the city to design the renovations.
Commissioner Peter Fuad said he was supportive of additional seating.
“There’s always people playing backgammon and eating, so the more the merrier,” he said.
The new soccer field on the southeastern end of the park will be made with artificial turf.
Renovations were recently completed at Maple Park, and the next project to get underway will be work at Palmer Park. A common amenity at all three sites is a new community building that will house a tennis club, meeting rooms and rentable space, said Jess Duran, the city’s community services director.
A basketball half-court will also be added to complement the existing one and could be lit up at night, Duran said.
The existing basketball court isn’t lit now because of the noise it generates, but that won’t be the case as much anymore because the courts will be in a different location.
“The courts are planned for the center of the park, which keeps them away from residences,” Duran said.
About $2 million has already been set aside for the renovations, which could get underway in 18 months. Another $2 million will be requested in development-impact fees — which will come from a fund paid into by downtown mixed-use project developers. The remaining $4 to 5 million will come from an undetermined source, Duran said.
Arin Mikailian, firstname.lastname@example.org