Cy Paumier and John Slater have presented a master plan for the park that is far better than the amateur hour plan put forth by Harper’s Choice Columbia Council rep, Cindy Coyle, a little over a year ago.
The only major problem I see is the proposed location of a café. As shown in the schematic site plan above, the café would be located deep into the park tight along the property line with Merriweather Post Pavilion. I’m not clear as to whether this would be a year round or seasonal operation. If it is conceived to be a seasonal operation, I doubt an operator could generate enough revenue to pay its own way which would probably require some sort of subsidy. That is seldom a recipe for success.
If the thinking is for this café to be a year round operation it would most likely struggle in the winter months. It is too far removed from the office buildings, the parking area is not adjacent and, for now at least, there isn’t enough close by residential population to sustain it through the year.
It also appears that not enough thought has been given to the actual operation of a café. A food service operation would require a dumpster and some type of delivery area. I didn’t see any of that in the pretty pictures.
Still, overall it’s a pretty good plan and Cy and John, as well as Bob Tennenbaum and Phil Engelke are to be applauded for their efforts. The real challenge will be in seeing whether CA can actually execute or will these plans gather dust in some storage room.
More importantly, whatever they do will require that they work closely with GGP since they own the land in the middle of the donut and all around the edges.