Wednesday, March 14, 2012 · 10:00 am
Construction has started at the Princess Anne Commons Gateway Park, which is a major renovation of the former Princess Anne Park site located at the corner of Princess Anne Road and Dam Neck Road. For the safety of all citizens, the current park site will be closed during construction.
As a planned gateway to the Princess Anne Commons corridor that contains a mix of public and private uses, quality development and exceptional recreation and open spaces, Princess Anne Commons Gateway Park will feature various components that will provide a strong sense of arrival to the area. The project is being coordinated with Princess Anne Road improvements and will be completed in two phases.
Phase I of the renovated park project will include a new trail system, shelters, restrooms, new gateway signage, extensive tree planting and expanded parking. Also included is a light garden sculpture which was originally located at the former Virginia Beach Pavilion. Consisting of 31 glass sun-refraction panels affixed to white poles and arranged in a clustered fashion to resemble a grove of trees. The light garden will have blue LED lighting for night illumination. The work was acquired in 1983 and was one of the first pieces of art funded by the Percent for Art program. The second phase of the Princess Anne Commons Gateway Park project will include new picnic shelters, playground equipment, and other park amenities such as benches and tables. Project completion date for both phases is scheduled for late 2012.
An essential change to this park site will be the removal of some mature and infirm trees that will be replaced with new tree plantings to promote a healthy, extensive urban tree canopy. Twelve new species of trees will be planted, including large canopy trees like Oak, Beech, Sycamore and Southern Magnolia; others will be smaller understory/flowering trees. This tree species diversification will help protect against disease/pest damage and will enhance the natural beauty of the park site.
Princess Anne Park originally opened in 1971. Over the years, substantial area investments by private industry including Sentara Princess Anne Hospital, LifeNet, Operation Smile and the Virginia Beach Field House, as well as municipal and educational buildings and quality recreational facilities, have enriched the economic and community landscape of the Princess Anne Commons corridor.