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Corrected story: CRA, council to put final touches on Malaga Park

By Staff | Feb 26, 2012

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story reported that the city was considering a $25,000 contribution to the Community Redevelopment Agency for the completion of Malaga Canal Park. That information was incorrect. The CRA is looking to make that donation, not receive it.

The Cape Coral Redevelopment Agency is expected to go to City Council on Monday, where together they are to put the finishing touches on Malaga Canal Park.

The final phase of park development, an interlocal agreement between the CRA and the city, which will include the completion of the walkway and the addition of benches and possible more trees on the property at 929 S.E. 46th Lane will cost $25,000, which the CRA will donate. The recommendation is to approve the proposal.

“The intent of the park was to create access to the water,” according to CRA president John Jacobsen. “We have more than 400 miles of canals in Cape Coral and like 40 feet of access to the waterfront.”

The city-owned land was used as a staging area for the LCEC Utilities Undergrounding Project. It was supposed to be finished last September, but delays kept the project from completion until just over a month ago, according to Jacobsen.

Over the last several weeks, progress on Malaga Park has been swift. The park has had irrigation and sod installed, trees planted, and a portion of the walkway, which is supposed to loop the park, completed.

This turned the parcel from a virtual dust bowl and an area of blight, as Jacobsen called it, into a viable park in the downtown area.

“At the end of the utility project, we decided what better time to get the site graded and do enhancements,” Jacobsen said. “We did the design for it. But we still have no benches and the walkway doesn’t go to the street.”

Jacobsen said the CRA and the city bought the parcel a decade ago, one of the last vacant lots on 46th Lane on a canal, to give the public much-needed access to the water.

The CRA’s mission is to “facilitate the emergence of a vibrant and sustainable urban village where everyone who lives or visits here is welcome and feels at home,” according to its Web site.