Santa Monica Lookout
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Santa Monica Funds Reed Park Improvement Project
Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark
Roque & Mark Real Estate
2802 Santa Monica Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90404
(310)828-7525 -

Harding Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP  law firm
Harding, Larmore
Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica


By Hector Gonzalez
Special to The Lookout

May 12, 2016 -- A passive clump of trees and grass on the northeast side of Christine Emerson Reed Park will get a curving little pathway linking shaded areas with tables and benches where people can picnic, play chess and exercise.

On Tuesday, the City Council awarded the project to BrightView Landscape Development Inc. of Washington, D.C., a century old company that has built gardens for Las Vegas hotels, golf courses, and outdoor landscaping for museums and other municipal projects.

The company will be paid $593,483. An additional 10 percent of that amount is set aside to cover unforeseen extra costs, staff said in a report.

Residents around the park bounded by Lincoln and Wilshire boulevards, 7th Street and California Avenue were surveyed in 2014 on what they liked about the park and what improvements they'd like to see, and most wanted the northeast part of the park redesigned for more active uses, said a report.

Most of the 144 survey respondents favored a walking path, outdoor exercise equipment and a performance area for that part of the park, which is in a roughly rectangular shaped 1-acre section facing Lincoln.

That same year the Council hired Marina Del Rey-based Katherine Spitz Associates Inc. to design the project. Meetings were held in January and March 2015 to present Spitz's preliminary designs to residents and to refine them based on community input.

The drawings were then reviewed in April that year by the Disabilities Commission and the Commission for the Senior Community, and in June by the Recreation and Parks Commission.

The final plans preserve the large shade-providing Eucalyptus trees that occupy much of the center of the quadrant.

Saving the trees was a community priority, but that also limited Spitz's designed improvements to the perimeter of the quadrant.

The landscape architect used the available space to create “Miles Walk,” a curving, slightly elevated hiking path made of decomposed granite. It takes walkers around to strategically placed shaded areas for picnics, playing chess or just sitting and relaxing.

A “defined area” with a hard surface can be used as an outdoor performance area next to the park's Miles Playhouse.

“Four exercise areas, with equipment designed for use by all ages including older adults, are distributed along the pathway in order to activate the exercise circuit and enliven this area of the park,” said a 2015 report.

Combined with the walk around the parkway, the senior-friendly exercise equipment will “provide an excellent physical workout,” said the report.

An open area at the center of the quadrant is set aside for toddler soccer, according to the plans.

BrightView Landscape also will install “islands” of native, drought-resistant plants to decorate the entrances of the redesigned area.

Staff did not include a timeline for ground-breaking or completion of the project.

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