officials have both good news and bad news for skaters of the Valley.
First the bad news: Remember that pimp skate park funded by Rob Dyrdek that was originally going to be in downtown? It's probably moving to the heart of south Phoenix.
And now the good news: Downtown Phoenix is going to finally get a skateboarding park of it's own ... eventually.
According to officials from Phoenix's Parks and Recreation Department, the Urban Skate Plaza originally planned for the south side of Margaret T. Hance Park (which was partially funded by a $50,000 donation from Dyrdek and his charitable foundation) will "likely" be relocated to Cesar Chavez Park due to planned repairs to the Deck Park Tunnel by the Arizona Department of Transportation.
Chris Ewell, a landscape architect for the parks department who's managing the skate park project, said that ADOT's repair of a faulty drainage system in the tunnel will involve the area in Hance Park where skate plaza was to be located.
Since Dyrdek's Foundation, which made the donation, mandated that the 7,000- to 10,000-square-foot plaza be completed by July (when the pro skateboarder is scheduled to perform at the Street League Skateboarding DC Tour at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale), Ewell says a change needed to be made.
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"The issue became that we were either going to put the project on hold for 18 months until ADOT could make the repairs, or we would go ahead and move forward at another location," he says. "When we discussed it with the foundation and Dyrdek, they preferred that we go forward with another site because he'd like it done before July when he comes back."
Ewell explains that Cesar Chavez Park, located near 35th Avenue and Baseline Road, was chosen as an alternative due to its comparable size to Hance Park. The change is still pending approval from the Parks and Recreation Board, which he anticipates they will obtain.
According to Ewell, the Drydek Foundation is still interested in funding the eventual construction of a skate plaza at Hance Park, but admits it could take up to two years to happen. (New Times was unable to reach a foundation spokesperson for comment.)
"They indicated that this isn't the last project they're going to be doing in Phoenix and they know that the skateboarding community downtown needs and wants a park," Ewell says. "So they've committed to us verbally that they really want to do that project when we're able to do it, which means we're kinda at the mercy of ADOT right now."