Ambitious Plan for Phoenix Park Overhaul Draws Mixed Reactions

This rendering shows what "The Cloud," a proposed component of an overhaul of Hance Park in Phoenix, might look like. | Courtesy of Hance Park Conservancy

A futuristic (and expensive) proposal to overhaul downtown Phoenix's Hance Park is drawing a range of reactions from residents and city officials.

As KJZZ reported last week, the six-year, $120 million plan calls for dividing the park, which straddles Central Avenue between Fifth Avenue and Third Street, into three zones. The first development area would feature a restaurant, a skate park and an overhead feature (pictured) called "The Cloud," which would create a "gateway" into the park and provide shade.

Some members of the Phoenix City Council say the plan addresses Phoenix's need for a signature urban park, and the Hance Park Conservancy, a nonprofit group, is looking for donors to make it happen. Others say the price tag is too high, given the city's recent budget woes.

The 32-acre park was dedicated in 1992 and sits above the underground tunnel portion of Interstate 10. In fact, that section of I-10 was the last portion of the coast-to-coast highway to be completed, in 1981. The park hosts events year-round and includes the Phoenix Center for the Arts, the Irish Cultural Center and the Japanese Friendship Garden, along with a public library.

What do you think of this idea? Let us know in the comments!


Phoenix already has an urban park. It's called South Mountain and it's the largest city park in North America. South Mountain is sacred land consisting of archaeological and cultural sites belonging to the Gila River Indian Community. GRIC was established by Congress in 1939 and is itself a modern-day tribute to our nation's history, although they get little recognition in Arizona. They are an indigenous people who have survived along the Colorado River with complex agricultural cultivation systems that continue today.

South Mountain isn't an urban park; it's not within walkable or transit distance for those who live downtown and it's not comparable to Hance park, which isn't a natural setting. It's simply not germaine to this discussion.

BTW, for the reader's attention - I posted my comment regarding South Mountain on Arizona Highway's Facebook timeline where it was replied to by Ben Harris. <iframe src="" width="500" height="453" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true"></iframe> Mr. Harris's facebook profile is incomplete. There are numerous posts made on Facebook by Arizona citizens masquerading like Ben is, distracting our citizens from knowing the truth that doesn't get shared in our media, news articles and magazines. Like Ben, these people are COWARDS. They don't want you to see any information about them, their real names, their religion, their workplace or anything else. Now you should be asking yourself WHY that is.

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