A never developed neighborhood in Greenwood and an undeveloped property in New Whiteland could both become spots for children to play.
Greenwood is considering purchasing a never developed neighborhood along Fry Road, just east of Northwest Park. And New Whiteland is looking at a 1.7-acre piece of land off Tracy Road as a potential future park space.
In both cases, city officials say they are looking at buying the land because it is available for sale and is located in a spot that would be ideal for a future park.
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In Greenwood, the land along Fry Road is the fourth piece of property the city has considered for a future park this year. Earlier this year, the parks department purchased four acres of land near West Side Park and has been looking into purchasing a 40-acre property east of U.S. 31 and between Stop 18 and Worthsville roads.
The Greenwood Redevelopment Commission purchased the former strip mall at Madison Avenue and County Line Road, with plans to demolish the building and convert the land into a city park.
A street and cul-de-sac were planned and eight lots were created on a nearly 4-acre piece of property off Fry Road between Northwest Park and Greenwood Fire Station 92, but the neighborhood never came to fruition. The road and cul-de-sac were never built, and a home was only constructed on one of the lots.
Now, the city wants to preserve the area for park land, having purchased half of the eight properties more than a decade ago, Greenwood Parks and Recreation Department Director Rob Taggart said.
The city is interested in purchasing the remaining home and three undeveloped pieces of land, and the owners of the home and two of the undeveloped properties have already approached the city to discuss selling, Taggart said. The city hasn’t contacted the owner of the fourth property but soon will to discuss a possible sale, he said.
The Greenwood Redevelopment Commission will be asked to purchase the home and one of the other pieces of land, and for the two remaining properties to be purchased by the parks board, Taggart said.
How much the properties will cost hasn’t been determined, because appraisers haven’t finished evaluating them, he said.
Plans for the area would be to preserve the land as it is for now, Taggart said. He cited the mature trees and the land’s proximity to Northwest Park as the reasons for wanting to purchase the properties.
In New Whiteland, town officials are also considering purchasing a 1.7-acre property at 550 Tracy Road. What the town might do with the land if it is purchased hasn’t been determined yet, but one option is to convert it into a park, town council president John Perrin said. The town council is waiting to get appraisals on the property before deciding whether to make an offer, he said.
The town also is looking at purchasing new playground equipment for its five parks. As equipment at parks and playgrounds in New Whiteland has either worn out or been damaged, much of it was never replaced, Perrin said.
Now, the town council is looking into a multiyear plan to upgrade parks, he said. The town council is determining what to purchase and how much to spend, Perrin said. The council could use money from its rainy day fund to pay for some of the equipment, he said.
A resident committee is planned to gather feedback on what improvements families and children want, he said.
“We need to have places for families to take kids to the park,” Perrin said. “Our feeling is that this is money people are paying in taxes, so it ought to be going to the things that they like to make use of.”