HERMAN MASSEY PARK
TAKING BACK THE PARK
Herman Massey Park is right in the middle of the Downtown River Arts Neighborhood on the northwest corner of Tyler and Franklin Streets. 1002 N Franklin Street, Tampa, FL 33602
The park was opened in 1988 by then mayor Sandy Freedman but, over time, the park has been neglected and in need of repair. In 2005, a fencing was added to the perimeter and the park was no longer maintained. Mayor Pam Iorio re-opened the park in 2008 but has not been utilized since.
As the City of Tampa has invested $35 million dollars on Jullian B. Lane riverfront park, DRANA initiated a call to action to improve this neighborhood gem.
SAFETY | COMMUNITY | VISION
As part of DRANA's 2017 priorities, the association facilitated surveys to determine Herman Massey Park needs from the community. Overwhelmingly, public safety was identified as the community's priority and DRANA approached the City of Tampa's Community Redevelopment Area for park improvements. As a result, upward of $900,000 has been committed to the park redesign and revitalization. DRANA has continued to host onsite events to further activate Herman Massey Park. In the future, we envision a flexible space to accommodate community activities such as farmers markets, food trucks, art vendors, movie nights and more.
The Parks and Recreation community feedback session on May 30, 2018 introduced Karla Price as the project manager. Karla provided background on Herman Massey Park and educated attendees on the public input and project redevelopment process. The session highlighted data from the 2017 DRANA in the Park survey and allowed attendees to provide feedback on additional park needs.
WGI was selected by the city to develop a design for the park and presented two community driven design concepts at the May 20, 2019 public meeting. Public feedback was yet again collected and integrated into a second round of park designs presented to the public on July 15, 2019. Construction on the park was scheduled to begin early in 2020 with completion by 2021.
PROGRESS HAS BEEN HALTED
In October 2019, the owner of the adjacent Allen Building asked the city to pause on the Herman Massey Park project to accommodate using 18% - 20% of the public space for restaurant seating. Three years of progress with the Community Redevelopment Area and the Parks and Recreation department have been halted. Although contracts have not been signed between the owner and restaurant investor, and necessary zoning, food and beverage permits have not been requested, the Community Redevelopment Area, consisting of all City Council member, will hear the Community Advisory Committee's recommendation to re-open the design process on December 12, 2019.
DRANA initiated this effort based on your safety needs and concerns. We know that public activation is critical to the longterm success of Herman Massey Park. While an adjacent business can support both safety and activation, DRANA has publicly opposed the Allen Building owner’s request based on the following:
Member's are actively providing feedback on their position so DRANA can truly represent the needs of the community.
We look forward to an improvement at Herman Massey Park but cannot be successful without your DRANA membership and support. Join DRANA today to help make a difference in your community.
Herman Massey Park News
Public input on Herman Massey Schematic Design closed on July 29.
Public input on initial concepts closed June 3.