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MailTribune.com
  • Work begins on another park at The Commons

    Demolition crews start work on a second park in The Commons, which will be site of holiday tree-lighting event
  • Demolition crews are ripping up roads and will demolish buildings next week to make way for the second park scheduled for The Commons project in downtown Medford.
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  • Demolition crews are ripping up roads and will demolish buildings next week to make way for the second park scheduled for The Commons project in downtown Medford.
    The newest park, just to the north of a park that was the focal point for the Pear Blossom Festival in April, will be built by KOGAP Enterprises Inc. of Medford for $1.5 million.
    The Medford City Council on Thursday will consider naming the two parks. The existing park in front of the Lithia Motors headquarters would be called "Founders' Square," and the two parks together would be named "Pear Blossom Park at The Commons."
    Rich Hansen, chairman of the Parks and Recreation Commission, said a committee sifted through many names before settling on the proposed choices.
    "Someone said, 'Why not call this Lithia Park?' Somebody else said, 'There's already another one down the road,' " he said, referring to Lithia Park in Ashland.
    The two parks are along Bartlett Street, with Fourth Street on the north end and Sixth Street on the south.
    The park under construction will have a large grassy area in the middle, with a stage on the southern end and a large Christmas tree on the north end.
    Sidewalks, street lights and other features in the new park will complement the features in the park to the south.
    Eric Iversen, project manager for Lithia Motors, which is acting as the general contractor for the project, said the park will have grass that is designed to take a lot of wear and tear.
    The grassy area will be available for picnics and other outdoor activities. During events, it will be able to hold more than 1,000 people and provide a view of the stage. About 200 seats will be available for rent near the stage.
    The city of Medford plans to hold a tree-lighting festival in the fall after the second park is completed.
    A controversial portal, which was the former entrance to the old Greyhound bus station, will be refurbished at a cost of $30,000. Lithia Motors will provide $12,500 toward the cost and will recondition the Greyhound letters.
    The Medford Urban Renewal Agency earlier balked at estimates as high as $50,000 to rehab the portal, questioning the aesthetics of the structure.
    Once it's cleaned up, the portal will have its original green tile exposed, and the Greyhound letters will be backlit with neon lights.
    "I think that once everything is done, it will look a lot different than it does today," Iversen said. "It's going to add to the park."
    Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or dmann@mailtribune.com.
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