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Here's the Winning Design for Downtown's Newest Park

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The park at First and Broadway will have an eatery, beer garden, and striking shade structures

Four big-time architecture and landscape architecture firms were vying for the chance to design Civic Center's newest park at First and Broadway, right next door to Grand Park, on a lot formerly distinguished by its feral cat colony. Today, the victor was announced: a team led by Mia Lehrer + Associates.

Her firm will transform the nearly two-acre spot into a park dotted with clusters of oaks and sycamores. It will also feature a two-floor restaurant; fast-casual downstairs, fancier food upstairs.

A release from MLA shows the up-to-date renderings for the eco-friendly project and offers a look at how the park is set up not only to invite and accommodate a range of activities, but also to be a cool hang-out spot with shaded spaces that attracts diverse crowds to the green space. What could be cooler and more inviting than giant photovoltaic shade structures recalling California poppies and a beer garden?

The space is a mix of hardscape and greenery and will feature "outdoor rooms" geared toward hosting art installations and events. The $28-million park is expected to open in 2019.