River's Edge Development (Playland Park)

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Harpoon
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River's Edge Development (Playland Park)

Postby Harpoon » Mon May 22, 2006 6:27 pm

While perusing the Council Bluffs city council agenda for this evening I came across something interesting:

HDR Engineering beat out other firms like EDAW and JJR to provide planning services to result in a site development master plan for the old Playland Park site just north of I-480. Looks like they will be getting paid $229,000 to conduct the study, if approved. Also says that design guidelines will be part of the study.

Has anyone else heard anything about this, this is the first for me? Also, Playland Park is where the pedestrian bridge will be landing on the Iowa side too. This sounds like it could be similar to the process that resulted in the north downtown plan, also completed by HDR.
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Postby MTO » Mon May 22, 2006 6:46 pm

That is interesting.. That is a lot of money for nothing so maybe something is a foot. Funny thing, this isn't even in the Media... Thats Omaha for ya.
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Postby Finn » Mon May 22, 2006 9:16 pm

This is to get a condo tower on that site. A portion of Playland Park was going to become One Renaissance Center before it fell through. My old company did a study a year and a half ago that stated a condo tower could still be developed on the site and play off the downtown Omaha condo market. I'm sure this is in response to the pedestrian bridge getting announced and the CB leaders trying to gain some momentum from the announcement. This is good news.

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Postby Harpoon » Mon May 22, 2006 9:36 pm

I don't know Finn, something tells me that this is more than just a tower study. I can't think of any other towers these guys were involved with, they do more civic-type buildings and redevelopment plans and things like that.

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Postby OmahaJaysCU » Mon May 22, 2006 10:15 pm

How about a whole urban neighborhood for that side (past the CB parks for along the riverfront)?

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Postby midtown charlie » Tue May 23, 2006 9:05 am

Personally, I would rather have an urban neighborhood with 3-6 story buildings than 2 towers that sit by themselves....but then I am not part of the height obsessed club. I will be happy with either option though.

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Postby MTO » Tue May 23, 2006 9:14 am

IMO in that area height is factor #1. It's by DTO and anything else we can get to bump up the skyline would be very welcome.
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Postby Greg S » Tue May 23, 2006 9:42 am

I would go for whatever works best, tall or not. Didn't they have a marina in some of their earlier plans when they were planning the condo towers?

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Postby Finn » Tue May 23, 2006 11:08 am

At that price, it is definitely more than a just a condo market study. However, a condo tower/complex will probably be a major component of the study along with tying it to the existing neighborhood and the road network. There is an established neighborhood there and little land to create an urban neighborhood. The study will probably push the idea of converting the park or a portion of it to private development (condo tower and maybe other uses depending on how much park land is converted - probably quite a bit) and attempt to minimize public outcry. There will be no marina. There will be no development to the west due to the floodplain. The study should tie into the future interstate improvements and reconfiguration of access points. The access to/from I-480 and I-29 as well as their connection will be completely redone. I expect access points to be further back from the bridge and a consolidation of accesses (eliminating some of the partial access points: 9th Ave., Ave G, etc.). The interstate improvements could create more developable land and tie some commercial uses to the interchanges.

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Postby Harpoon » Wed Sep 20, 2006 5:45 pm

Has anything happened with this project? I haven't heard anything about it since the initial Council Bluffs Council meeting.

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Postby Omaha Cowboy » Thu Sep 21, 2006 12:45 am

I honestly haven't heard a thing..

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Postby icejammer » Thu Sep 21, 2006 8:15 am

Talk about perfect timing... :)

The study is just getting underway. There is going to be a "visioning exercise" on Tuesday, Sept. 26 at the Riverside Grille, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm to solicit ideas and input for the new master plan. For more info, see:

http://communitydev.councilbluffs-ia.gov/documents/Public%2DMeeting%2Dfor%2Da%2Dnew%2DPlayland%2DPark%2DMaster%2DPlan%2Epdf
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Postby Omaha Cowboy » Thu Sep 21, 2006 9:10 am

You said it icejammer..Thanks for the project heads up (as usual :) )..

I'll move this thread over to the CB forum..

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Postby Harpoon » Thu Sep 21, 2006 9:39 pm

Hopefully the'll get lots of good feedback at the visioning meetings to come up with a cool plan for the area.

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Postby omahahawk » Fri Sep 22, 2006 8:09 am

Thanks Icejammer, that is good timing. Although the initial plans area really great, I was just thinking out loud in the bridge thread about how cool it would be it they built a circular walking labryinth or something in the park.

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Postby icejammer » Fri Sep 22, 2006 12:07 pm

City looks for input on Playland Park

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The future of the area is the subject of a public meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Riverside Grille, 2 Harrah's Blvd. Rose Brown of the Council Bluffs Community Development Department said it's the start of developing a master plan for the area, and community input is wanted.

The planning focus is on the area bound by Avenue B, the Missouri River, Interstate 480 and Interstate 29. It involves the land next to the river and the old Playland Park site, including the current city park, all of which are owned by the city. There also are some residential properties in the area to the east.
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Postby icejammer » Wed Sep 27, 2006 12:04 pm

Sounds like mainly neighborhood people turned out for the meeting and they are (still) opposed to any kind of residential going in there :evil:

Playland Park area offers opportunity, residents say

James Moore, HDR's project principal official, said there is a nationwide interest in rebuilding neighborhoods in the traditional way of pre-1940.

When asked to give a "vision statement," the residents mentioned an area that would be clean and safe, a destination spot and a place that will enhance the natural beauty of its location.


and this...

"We have enough apartments down there," Beu said.

Brian Hansen, 3914 Ave. B., added, "We can make it a nicer park."


Whatever.... :roll:
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Postby DTO Luv » Wed Sep 27, 2006 1:07 pm

I would have liked to have gone to this. Even though support from the residents might not be there, there is to much money to be made from not doing this project.
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Postby Harpoon » Fri Jan 26, 2007 10:11 pm

Looks like they finally have some plans for the Iowa side of the pedestrian bridge.

http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_pg=163 ... rnd=764216

More than 200 residences, shops and parks are expected to blossom there, under a plan unveiled to Bluffs officials and residents Friday.

• The wooded land along the river west of the levee becomes ballfields, picnic grounds and hiking trails connected by a winding road that would run from G Street to Ninth Avenue near Harrah's Casino.

• An arch welcomes pedestrians and cyclists at the bridge landing on the levee.

• Restaurants and condos surround a formal town square connected by a staircase and path to the bridge landing.

• A neighborhood park on the east end of the property features playground equipment.

• Two-story, single-family homes and town houses combine with up to four-story condo buildings to offer a mix of housing.

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Postby Stargazer » Sat Jan 27, 2007 8:59 am

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Postby Uffda » Sat Jan 27, 2007 9:45 am

If that all comes about it is going to look better than the Omaha side of the river.

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Postby DTO Luv » Sat Jan 27, 2007 10:05 am

In a way that kind of reminds of the buildings Omaha built for the World Expo. This is still a cool project. I think I'd like to see one taller building there so people could take advantage of the view of Omaha.
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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Sat Jan 27, 2007 1:12 pm

Cool.  I hope it happens.

And I have to say, there's something about the name "Playland" that I don't like.  It's kind of creepy and sounds like a fake, imaginary place, like "candyland" or "fairyland" or something.

And why keep the name, anyway?  Because there was an amusmente park there by that name decades ago?
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Postby Stargazer » Sat Jan 27, 2007 1:20 pm

I like the name 'Playland Park'... and it does hold alot of history.

I say the name stays. :P

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Postby icejammer » Sun Jan 28, 2007 4:02 pm

This is pretty exciting, if it comes to fruition.  It will be a nice compliment to the Omaha riverfront projects.

The Nonpareil finally ran a story on this today:

Development would combine green space with commerce, housing

Imagine a new Playland Park area that incorporates parks with attached single-family homes and apartments above business space below, small shops and a tree-lined boulevard. Maybe even a tall office building.

Such a vision was unveiled Friday after months of public input and professional research to bring new life to an area long on history but recently lacking in opportunities.


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Apartments, single-family rowhouses and green space could become a reality in the future for Playland Park, according to a proposal shown to city officials this past week.
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Postby midtown charlie » Sun Jan 28, 2007 4:54 pm

If they actually build this it will be better than the towers that were originally proposed!!  What great potential.  This is nice looking!!  Of course the drawings always are....the streets are like shiny glass and trees are made out of gumdrops...

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Postby icejammer » Thu Mar 29, 2007 2:34 pm

In case anyone was interested, this was the presentation from January, gives a little more context to the stories:

http://communitydev.councilbluffs-ia.gov/documents/Playland-Park-Summary.ppt
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Postby Harpoon » Thu Mar 29, 2007 11:16 pm

I love those old photos of Playland Park. Looks like it will be a cool place.

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Postby icejammer » Thu Sep 20, 2007 12:22 pm

C.B. a finalist in Great Places

Things are happening along the Council Bluffs riverfront - like a pedestrian bridge linking the city with Omaha, a walking/biking trail, a new river channel for more wildlife habitat and exciting ideas for Playland Park.

The state is certainly impressed.

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs has announced that Council Bluffs is a finalist in this year's Great Places program because of its riverfront plans. That means state money could be available to help make those plans a reality under this program that encourages the creation of unique places that bring more social interaction and improved quality of life. . . .

Council Bluffs is developing the former Playland Park area into a mixed-use neighborhood where people could live, work, shop and play. A riverfront park is planned to encourage access to the Missouri River, as well as enhancements along the pedestrian bridge.

"We're still working on a master plan for Playland Park - both on the wet side and dry side of the (Missouri River) levee," said Gayle Malmquist of the Community Development Department.

The levee's dry side could provide a wide array of housing opportunities combined with small commercial shops, Malmquist said, while open/festival spaces would make up the wet side.

The plan should be completed this year, she said. . .
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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Sun Sep 23, 2007 12:22 pm

I just looked at the powerpoint presentation you posted back in March.

They really are looking at some fabulous options for developing this land into a DESTINATION that anchors the CB side of the bridge, where people live, shop, dine, and work.

I saw Doug Bisson and his team in one of the charette pictures... that means it's golden.   :)
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Postby Harpoon » Thu Oct 04, 2007 9:53 pm

Here is a little elaboration on one of the previous comments.

Playland Park was named one of the 7 finalists for this year's Iowa Great Places program

Great Places

Council Bluffs – The River’s Edge at Iowa’s Leading Edge: Enhance the Council Bluffs image within the Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area by diversifying tourism opportunities, increasing commercial and housing activities and improving the quality of life for western Iowans.

   * Development of former Playland Park site into mix use neighborhood offering unique living and working environment.
   * Development of riverfront park to encourage access to Missouri River and public art.
   * Complete enhancements of pedestrian bridge linking Council Bluffs and Omaha riverfront developments.
   * Sustainable expertise and programming forum for activities in riverfront park.

The committee will tour each of the finalists next week, with the winners being chosen on October 17th in Des Moines.

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Postby DTO Luv » Sun Oct 07, 2007 3:27 pm

I hope they can get this. It would be a boon for both CB and Omaha.
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Postby icejammer » Tue Oct 09, 2007 11:19 am

Playland Park project moving ahead

If various pieces fall into place, bids could be sent out this winter for the Playland Park project. . . .

A neighborhood meeting is to held in a month or so to show residents the final concept, he said.

The city's Planning Commission, followed by the City Council would need to give their formal approvals for the project to get started, Gross said.

There would also need to be sources of public money found before bids could be sought, he added.

The project would be mostly residential, with single-family units, apartments, live/work units and more.

"There would be a number of condo units we feel the market would support," Gross said.

Green space would include a neighborhood park and a park oriented for the pedestrian bridge landing, he said. There would also be a park on the wet side of the river levee, he added.

"We feel there could be restaurants and small commercial facilities around the bridge landing." . . .
"Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved."

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Postby DTO Luv » Tue Oct 09, 2007 12:08 pm

I can't wait to see what they come up with. :)
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Postby icejammer » Mon Oct 15, 2007 10:25 am

Good news, but need to wait until Wednesday to see if it great news.

Bluffs to be recognized as one of Iowa's newest Great Places

A group of visitors rode on golf carts at a local green Wednesday, but they didn't come to play golf.

Instead, city officials drove them along the course of what's planned on the Missouri Riverfront.

The result was a winning score as Council Bluffs on Friday was named one of Iowa's newest Great Places.

The Department of Cultural Affairs made the announcement indicating this year's seven finalists for the award were all named winners. . . .

"It's not necessarily a grant program," said Rose Brown, an official of the Community Development Department.

For example, state resources might involve trail experts helping to plan an area trail project or those with historical expertise assisting local residents in organizing an historic building preservation project, she said. . . .

On Wednesday, a 12-member selection committee and officials from the cultural department came to Council Bluffs where city official gave them a formal 90-minute presentation at the Riverside Grill. Included was a trip by golf carts along the riverfront trail to the pedestrian bridge landing and the Playland Park site. Golf carts were used to better show the visitors how these projects will interact with each other, Brown said.

"After four wonderful days visiting seven communities that were listed as finalists for Great Places, the amount of community support, creative ideas and the level of readiness we saw demonstrated that all seven are truly Great Places," said Robin Anderson, vice chair of the program's advisory board.
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Postby Harpoon » Fri Oct 26, 2007 9:54 pm

This is slated for upcoming planning commission and city council approval. Looks like it's pretty neat. The article has some other cool photos.

http://www.nonpareilonline.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=18959384&BRD=2703&PAG=461&dept_id=555106&rfi=6

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Postby midtown charlie » Fri Oct 26, 2007 10:50 pm

the residential units could create more traffic; and property values might drop in area neighborhoods, said Dorothy Wick, who lives at 38th Street and Avenue C.




Dare I even Comment Dorthy????!!!   Okay I will.  Here is my stab at it.  


A) Yes more residential units WILL create more traffic.  What of it?

B) Maybe this is my ignorance but I didn't realize that the property values of West Council Bluffs had much room to go except well.....up.  

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Postby thenewguy » Fri Oct 26, 2007 11:52 pm

Yeah, ol' Dorothy may or may not represent the interests of CB.  I, for one, would LOVE to have some retail and restaurants at the base of the bridge; i live not far from there geographically, though somewhat separated.  It would do some wonders for the housing near playland, which is a mixture of new developments, which are nice, with the older houses that were put there 40 years ago and the houses that got stagnant.  It may encourage that occasional neighbor to mow once in a while, which is a peeve of many, even if they are omaha or cb :P  Like i said, a bike shop would be perfect there, seeing as how there are trails very near, and something that isn't really tapped into (with the exception of a couple places in downtown CB) that would fit so well.  Also, a starbucks or carribou would be good there, with a sandwich shop and maybe an ice cream parlor for those who are riding by.  Ah, if i could only see into the future.

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Postby icejammer » Mon Oct 29, 2007 12:29 pm

Harpoon wrote:This is slated for upcoming planning commission and city council approval. Looks like it's pretty neat. The article has some other cool photos.

http://www.nonpareilonline.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=18959384&BRD=2703&PAG=461&dept_id=555106&rfi=6


A few quotes from the story...

Pat Salvo, who lives on North 41st Street, liked what he saw Thursday night on the future of the Playland Park area.

"It's great. I'm excited for it," he said. "It's nice to see something happening." . . .

The plan proposes a 93-acre open space with various recreational uses on the wet side of the levee, plus a new, scenic road along the river, complemented by hundreds of housing units directly to the east with smaller parks for a more neighborhood feel.

These units would be a mixture of single-family homes, live/work residences and apartment/condo structures. Small retail shops, including restaurants, could also call this place home, with all of this situated along new, tree-lined streets.

There would also be a new bus stop near where the Missouri River pedestrian bridge would land.

On the far north side of the 93-acre green space would be a large, open, grassy meadow suitable for pickup games of soccer or baseball or Frisbee throwing, the audience was told. Directly to the south, planners visualize a more formal meadow for outdoor concerts and art shows. Further south would be a large picnic area with numerous picnic shelters. . .

The first phase, according to one official, would be the development of streets and the bus stop near the pedestrian bridge landing.

As far as the residential area, Troy Henningson of HDR Architecture Inc. said, "It depends on the market absorption rate."

It could take as long as 10 years for the project to be fully developed, he said.
"Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved."

--William Jennings Bryan

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Postby icejammer » Mon Oct 29, 2007 1:16 pm

Some of the graphics from the meeting:

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The conceptual plan for the Playland Park area includes various housing styles, like single-family homes, apartments, town homes and live/work units, south of existing neighborhoods and east of a 93-acre open space.

Image

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Pat Salvo, who lives in the Playland Park area, looks at a proposed drawing of what the area could look like some day. “It’s great,” he said.
"Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved."

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