New park set to open in downtown blocks away from Toyota Center

(Downtown Redevelopment Authority)

HOUSTON – A new park is coming to downtown Houston.

The Southern Downtown Park will be at the 1500 block of Fannin Street, about three blocks away from the Toyota Center.

The Downtown Redevelopment Authority released renderings of the neighborhood park, which will be surrounded by Bell, San Jacinto, Leeland and Fannin streets.

PHOTOS: Southern Downtown Park renderings

"The L-shaped site will be framed by lush garden zones on the north (bordering Bell Street) and the south (bordering Leeland Street). The northern edge will be anchored by a proposed rotating gateway art installation near the corner of Fannin and Bell, and will also include seating, bike racks and a bike repair station. The southern edge will feature intimate seating with a water feature, along with large- and small-breed dog runs with trees, boulders, mounds and a vine-covered trellis with seating," the development firm said in a release.

Local firm Lauren Griffith Associates will lead the design of the park.

The firm said recommendations for the park's design were "based on public engagement this past summer; proposed features included a lush green environment with lots of shade, sustainable plantings, safe pedestrian and bicycle connections, interactive water features, functional art and on-site food service. Gensler is providing architectural services for the site’s fast-casual restaurant, storage building and other structures."

A "fast-casual cafe" will provide breakfast, lunch and dinner options. The 2,400-square-foot cafe will have room for approximately 56 people. The operator will be announced in July 2019.

Construction is expected to begin in March 2020 and is expected to open in March 2021. The park will be managed by the Downtown District.

The official park name will be announced at the groundbreaking.