TAMPA — City officials have scheduled a public meeting to discuss redevelopment at Perry Harvey Sr. Park and to showcase a proposal that evolved from public meetings nearly six years ago.
“We wanted to take the opportunity to show people this is what the consensus was,” said Bob McDonaugh, the city's economic opportunity administrator.
The park's future has become sharply debated in recent months, largely due to efforts to save a 1970s surfer-style skate bowl, known as the Bro Bowl.
The meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 16 at Greater Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in the Oscar Johnson Jr. building at 1207 N. Jefferson St.
The city's plan will be available for review. People will have an opportunity to ask questions and make comments.
The city's current proposal would demolish the Bro Bowl and replace it with a new facility in another location at the park.
However state historic preservation officials recently determined the skate bowl is historic. And now federal officials will decide if the Bro Bowl belongs on the National Register of Historic Places.
All of this has complicated a matter that city officials thought had been settled years ago with guidance from a citizens' advisory committee and public meetings.
The city's plan has always been to honor the rich history of Central Avenue's black entertainment and business district with history walks and monuments. The Bro Bowl, which is in the path of a history walk, was part of those discussions, McDonaugh said, and the new skate bowl was a compromise.
A master plan for Perry Harvey park was approved by city administrators in February. About $2 million from a $30 million federal grant for the Encore development will fund the initial phase of the multi-year park project. City officials anticipate a construction start in early 2014 in an area south of the Bro Bowl.
Encore is a mixed-use, mixed income community under construction on 28 acres between Nebraska Avenue and Interstate 4. It is adjacent to the approximately 11-acre park site and replaces the former Central Park Village public housing complex.
Because of the Bro Bowl, the park project is under review by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. “Historical findings” at the park must be identified and any proposed mitigation of historical features has to be provided to the federal agency, said Leroy Moore, chief operating officer for the Tampa Housing Authority.
Parking for the meeting is available in the Longshoremen's parking lot and in a parking lot by the cemetery across from the church. Additional parking will be available on the street and in a vacant lot at Jefferson and Laurel Streets.