The Maverick Dog Park came one step closer to fruition on Thursday when City Council approved an ordinance authorizing up to $50,000 from the city-initiated Midtown Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) fund toward the park’s transformation from underutilized inner city park to active space for nearby two- and four-legged residents. Even with the City’s help, the park still needs about $143,000 to start construction.
The Maverick Dog Park is a collaborative effort led by the San Antonio Parks Foundation to revitalize Maverick Park into a state-of-the-art dog park and recreation facility. The three-acre park located at 1000 Broadway St. is typically vacant, but is used once a week by Joan Cheever, owner of the Chow Train food truck, when she feeds area homeless on Tuesday nights. The River North neighborhood is in transition and the park is now located just blocks away from several established and planned dog-friendly apartment complexes. Its proximity to popular attractions such as the Pearl and the Museum Reach, makes the park ideal for the growing number of residents in the area to spend time outdoors with their dogs.
Joe Alderete III, Maverick Dog Park project manager and District 1 representative for the Parks and Recreation Board, said the project has garnered a substantial amount of support from the community because the park would be the first of its kind in the area.
“We were just aiming for a normal dog park and all of a sudden it took on a life of its own,” he said. “People were really clamoring for it because we just don’t have anything like that downtown.”
The approximate cost for the project is $281,491, said John Dugan, director of the City’s Department of Planning and Community Development. So far, the San Antonio Parks Foundation has raised more than $137,700 and will continue fundraising efforts to close the approximately $143,000 gap. Construction on the park is set to begin as soon as the funding goal is reached.
The 80/20 Foundation has committed $15,000 in grants to the project; local apartments in the area such as 1800 Broadway, The Mosaic, The River House, and 1221 Broadway have contributed more than $39,000 collectively; and other private funds total $23,000 – about $3,000 of which has been raised through an online crowdfunding campaign. The Parks Foundation’s goal is to raise at least $7,000 more online.
To make a donation to the Maverick Dog Park fund, click here.
Though the bulk of revitalization efforts will be aimed at amenities for, well, dogs, the park will be a multi-use facility for people with or without furry companions. Along with the dog area – complete with fences, agility equipment, water bowls, and even a dog shower – there will be bike racks, lighted pathways, benches, and an adult fitness area, among other amenities. The Foundation is also hoping to incorporate gardens and public art.
The Midtown TIRZ #31 was initiated by the City in order to address community needs in the area, particularly the development of the Pearl and the San Antonio River Improvements Project. The projects for the area also include implementing rental and for-sale apartment units, as well as restaurant, retail, office, and entertainment spaces before the Midtown TIRZ #31 expiration date in 2028.
The $50,000 amount approved on Thursday will come to the Parks Foundation from the City in the form of reimbursements for the costs of redevelopment. Reimbursements will be made by the City upon receiving invoices from the Parks Foundation.
Alderete lives and works Downtown, and with two dogs of his own, saw the addition of a dog park as a positive way to contribute to the development of the area.
“It was just all in alignment and I thought, ‘What can I do to better the community around me?'”
*Top image: The Maverick Dog Park site plan. Courtesy image.