The park made famous by the Island Recreation Association’s festivals didn’t just get a makeover; it got new location too. But it didn’t move too much, just a little northwest along Broad Creek. It now sits directly behind the Shelter Cove Towne Centre shops, giving guests magnificent views of the water.
After a year of construction, the five-acre Shelter Cove Community Park will open with a ribbon cutting on April 1. The new park boasts a performance and sunset pavilion, several picnic tables, shade structures, bathrooms, a playground, fountain and marsh-front views.
But this was no simple task.
The construction of this new park was the second phase in a project that’s transformed the old Shelter Cove mall into the Shelter Cove Towne Centre. To move the park, there had to be some changes to the original plans, moving back the original planned opening for the park from 2014 to 2015.
“Shelter Cove Lane was moved closer to the retail portion of the development in order to accommodate the new park location. Once that was done, massive amounts of dirt were brought in to raise the allocated park area and site work began,” said Roni Allbritton, the mall manager at Shelter Cove Towne Centre.
The site where the old park used to be located will be transformed into a new five-story apartment building. And although the new park different from the first, it will still be just about the same size as the previous park.
“It occupies approximately five acres but it has a lot more amenities,” said Albritton. “It has a performance pavilion, built in restrooms, a very elaborate playground, benches and tables and shaded areas and it has a board walk along the water’s edge, and a much better view of the marsh and a beautiful fountain, that’s the centerpiece.”
Construction of the new apartments won’t start until the middle of the summer, when festivals will move to the new park.
“We have to give the grass and the landscape time to mature a little bit before we put a lot of heavy traffic on it,” said Albritton. “So a lot of the existing events will take place in the old park until June.”
But the park and all its amenities are open this April and can be enjoyed by locals and visitors alike!
All photos provided by Shelter Cove Towne Centre.