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Demolition Begins For Downtown Waterfront Park

Demolition work began today to make way for an 11-acre waterfront park at the downtown County Administration Center.

Crews over the next three months will tear down an office building next to North Harbor Drive and Grape Street that housed offices of the county Health and Human Services Agency. The demolition of the J.B. Askew Building -- erected in 1958 and named after a former health director -- officially began with members of the Board of Supervisors helping to remove the HHSA sign.

"A lot of good work's been done in Askew, but it was intended as temporary office space, and we can look forward to something far better replacing it,'' board Chairman Bill Horn said.

Plans for the $44 million waterfront park, scheduled to be finished in two years, include an 830-foot-long fountain and green space for picnics and civic events. The original plans for the County Administration Center, which was completed in 1938, included a park that was never built.

The two parking lots at the center will be replaced by an underground parking garage and a 500-space lot nearby at Cedar Street and Kettner Boulevard.

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