In 2010, during the Green Grand Rapids planning process, a consensus-based park concept plan was developed that has the support of residents and neighborhood associations. This project would develop a City-owned parking lot into Pleasant Park, a 2.4-acre neighborhood park located at 400 Pleasant Ave, at the intersection of Madison and Pleasant. In late 2011, the Natural Resources Trust Fund at the State of Michigan and Community Development Block Grant funds were awarded to the project.
In 2012, residents near the park approved a Special Assessment District to contribute nearly a quarter of the overall funding needed for the park development. Additional dollars are currently being raised through Heritage Hill Neighborhood Association and Friends of Grand Rapids Parks from local foundations and individuals. In the Spring of 2013, the City of Grand Rapids hired GMB Architects to turn the general concept drawing shown below into construction drawings with specifics on the playground, entry, grading, lighting, etc. Neighbors helped to design the new playground and suggested alterations to the entry area sign to be consistent with City of Grand Rapids parks signage, to pull in themes from the Meyer May house in the masonry columns, and to appear “less like a cemetery”. The budget, details, and construction documents were completed in the Summer of 2013 and initially bid in the Fall, 2013. Unfortunately, the bids were well above the estimated budget and were rejected in October, 2013. The project was rebid in October, 2013 (returned by November 5th, 2013) with a base bid and add alternatives, meaning certain items will be added back to the project as funds allow. The completion date is now estimated for the summer of 2014. On October 29th, representatives from Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, the City of Grand Rapids, and GMB Architects met with neighbors to give updates on the project and answer questions.
The park officially opened to the public July 31, 2014!