I recently asked the Forest Park Advisory Board to explore ways that might improve the proposal to extend an existing lease with BJC on property east of Forest Park. I expect their formal report next week. I also expect to receive a report from four members of the Board of Aldermen who have been reviewing the financial terms at my request.
Either group could suggest changes that improve the overall proposal.
But whatever changes we make to the proposal, it is worth repeating why we are even discussing it: to improve Forest Park. The proceeds from the extension of the lease would be matched by Forest Park Forever and dedicated to Forest Park. For the first time, Forest Park would have a dedicated stream of revenue for maintenance.
And the cost?
The parcel in question, east of Kingshighway, is already leased by BJC for a parking garage — and it has been for years. Very few people even consider it part of a public park. And even fewer people know they can use the tennis courts and playground on top of the garage. Under the terms of any agreement, BJC would have to move those amenities to nearby neighborhoods so that more people can find and use them.