Grand opening held for City Center at Slack Plaza
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – The grand opening of the City Center at Slack Plaza was celebrated Tuesday in Charleston. The space had been under renovation for almost a year and has been completely transformed.
Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin was joined by other local and national leaders to recognize the more than $3.5 million investment that will bring an array of activities to the city.
Among its features are a performing stage with canopy, a splash pad and sculptures. The plaza will also host food trucks in the summer and have an ice skating rink in the winter.
“We’re an outdoor state. We are called the Mountain State for a reason,” Goodwin said. “This gives folks another space to not only meet up, but also play, listen to music, grab something to eat. This is the perfect location for just that.”
The park is the only green space in downtown Charleston and will serve as the hub of the new Business Improvement District (BID) that is already bringing new stores and restaurants to this part of the city that connects Capital Street with the KRT Transit Hub, Town Center Mall and Civic Center.
“The more people we get downtown, the more they come into our businesses,” BID director Lewis Payne said. “I’m hoping that it’s a domino effect. That we have one here, another one next door and we just have more growth.”
People coming down to the park said it’s a big change to the concrete hardscaping that used to be located in the area. Those who live and work in the area expect it to be a popular spot around lunchtime and in the evenings, thanks to the swinging chairs and live music.
Goodwin said the city is also committed to ensuring the area is safe for families and does not get overrun by vagrants.
“There is always eyes and ears,” Goodwin said. “There is nighttime security walking in the area. If there is a light bulb out we know about it immediately. Plus, this is city property. We are going to make sure that our parks and recreation team and our street department is here all the time.”
The final touches, including installing more lights and covering a live wall with plants, will be completed during the next month. The new Slack Plaza is already set to host a number of events this summer such as the Sternwheel Regatta and Taco Fest.
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