Project 250, a velodrome and mixed-use facility for the community that could be coming to FDR Park pending the approval of the City of Philadelphia, presented plans for the project at a meeting on Wednesday night.
At Wednesday’s meeting at the American Swedish Historical Museum, more than 150 neighbors and cyclists alike came together to hear the plans and voice their opinions on the project. While many back the project, some cyclists and neighbors voiced concerns about the location of the facility at FDR Park.
From The Inquirer:
“This is the elephant in the room. We are already impacted so severely,” argued Anna Maria Vona, who uses the park for morning walks. “I’m tired of outsiders coming into our community.”
The plans for the facility include the 6,000 seat bicycle racing track that would include community programming with a youth cycling program and other cycling-related clinics. In addition to the bike-related uses, the facility would also be used for various community activities with a recreation center and could also be used for concerts.
For this plan to be set into motion, the project must first be approved by city’s art and historical commissions, the National Park Service and state agencies, in accordance to the city’s Open Lands Protection law, since the facility would have to meet certain requirements to be built on the parkland at FDR Park.
Even if the facility is approved, it also must acquire the necessary funding for this $100 million project, which would come through if the facility, which would be located among the rest of the big-name stadiums in Philadelphia, can acquire a naming rights partner. According to PlanPhilly’s Jim Saksa, Project 250’s Philip J. Senechal confirmed that the velodrome project wouldn’t be financially viable without naming rights.
Of the $100 million, an allocation of funds will be devoted to replacing the parkland they will be using at FDR Park elsewhere, in addition to the funding needed for the park improvements Project 250 has planned for the project.
They have promised to spend $10 million – $17 million refurbishing the Olmsted Brothers designed park: $5 million – $7 million for a water treatment plant for the currently algae-riddled lakes, and $5 million -$10 million in other park improvements which will include draining and dredging the lakes, refurbishing the trails and other landscaping.
Do you think this facility would benefit the community?