At present, the proposed Main Street Garden downtown is but a fenced-off patch of dirt and rubble -- very sexy scenery for folks to whom Forest City's trying to sell apartments in the newly constructed Element, some of which faces the Municipal Building and the abandoned Statler Hotel. Plans for the park -- which will contain, so we've been told, everything from kiosks and cafes to an "urban dog run" and a shaded stage -- have been around since April 2007, and it was supposed to be halfway to completion by now. Only, the city was stymied by its desire to bury a parking garage beneath the park -- which is bound by Commerce, Main, St. Paul and Harwood streets -- and, well, that's no longer part of the plan.
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But today, the city council expects to get the park back on track: Item No. 41 on today's agenda says that out of only two bidders on the project, Phillips/May Corporation came in the winner -- and, from the looks its list of projects, it's never tackled a park project before. Which means the city's all ready to shell out $8,019,937 for "the construction of the Main Street Garden Park consisting of a food concession pavilion and outdoor dining terrace, fountain, off-leash dog run, playground, shelters, lighting, landscaping, irrigation, signage, sidewalks, trails, and public art." The contract estimates construction to begin in October of this year and end in October '09. And ... go. --Robert Wilonsky