Friday, October 19, 2007

Harrison Square Update

It is no secret that I am against the Harrison Square Project. In fact, other then John B. Kalb and the three City Councilmen opposed to the project I am most likely the best known opponent of the project.

WOWO reported some interesting news about Harrison Square today.

I was able to verify this item via an independent source who has seen the plans for the new Downtown Baseball Stadium. Virgil, a person unknown to me, called in to WOWO and told Pat White that he also had seen the drawings for the new Baseball Stadium. Both sources are reporting that the playing field of the new downtown Baseball Stadium will be 12 and 1/2 feet BELOW ground level. This is going to require several catch basins and several large pumps.

It will be interesting to see how this effects the price.

Mike Sylvester


Brian said...

Most newer ballparks are designed to be below street level Mike.

Dayton, Cleveland, Indianapolis...

HOK knows what they are doing.

This provides excellent access for handicapped as the concourse level is the same as the level you enter the ballpark from.

Brian said...

This "news from Pat White" should come as no surprise. You can clearly tell on the fly-through that the concourse is the same level as the street. (Maybe a few steps included.)




LP Mike Sylvester said...


I have not been to any of those new parks.

If this was planned then I assume the expenses are reflected in the Harrison Square budget?

Mike Sylvester

Brian said...


I would hope so. HOK designs many recent parks with this as a design feature. This is nothing new or unique to Fort Wayne's new ballpark design. I'm a big fan of this feature. With the lower concourse below street level, the upper suite/press level won't be as tall.

Think about how handicapped enter Memorial Stadium now... enter the gate, wait for the one elevator, travel to the concourse and watch from the concourse. Ballparks that have the concourse even with the street allow much easier access for everyone. There could still be a few steps or few feet(maybe a small ramp) when entering the ballpark, but it makes it much easier to enter/exit.

Anonymous said...

Taxpayers pay for the pumps, taxpayers pay the utilities to run the pumps. From a Hardball Capital perspective, let's go down 30 feet.

But hey, from Hardball's perspective, this deal is looking more and more lucrative. How can we quarrel with that kind of success for Harrison Square?

LP Mike Sylvester said...


As long as the cost is already figured in then I do not have a problem with it being below street level sine I have not looked at any of the newer stadiums...

Mike Sylvester

Anonymous said...

Mike that is how they did not have to worry about bad dirt. It was going to be removed. The problem is where are they going to dump it. It may need to be treated frist. Then again if we dump it on our own ground, who cares!

Fr. Fozy Bear said...

I am still going to laugh my arse off when they "accidentally" hit the water table or worse the entire stadium and field gets flooded when the power goes out, and not by rain. Knowing our luck it will happen by the combined sewer overflow going to the lowest point, lol! Can you imagine the damage, odor, and repair bills. Can you also imagine the mold and mildew build up in those 16-32 sky box suites.

Sorry I am just giddy at the thought and possibility.

John B. Kalb said...

#1) Look what it's going to cost to "remove ground water" in the ballpark - $386,480 to Dewatering Services of Saranac, Michigan (A "local" firm?). Also, $3.1 million to Fleming in Decatur for excavation - I guess that's close to local. Also, G. Lyman, Redevelopment Department told me that with all the soil that has to be hauled away, he thinks (or maybe just "hopes") that this hauling will remediate the site. It ends up that our local landfill can handle any "contaminated soil" at a cost. Any idea what this cost is?
Mark my words - THIS WILL BE A BOONDOGGLE OF MASS PROPORTIONS! Lyman's comment, " The site can be remediated, IF THE CITY CAN AFFORD THE COST!!!! What a great plan!
John B. Kalb

J Q Taxpayer said...


Did he tell you where they where going to haul the dirt from Harrison Square? If they dump it and it turns up "bad" then the city will be paying for it to be cleaned up at where ever it is dumped.

What kind of core sampling did they do before they start removing the ground? If they did not do core sampling then what rate are they now sampling the ground as it is removed? Is the removed ground being tracked? My guess is, NOT!

The new ballpark will have a generator there for backup power even without the needed pumps. It may be sized a little larger to support the pumps.

My guess is the pump system would have reverse flow valves/gates to stop water from running backwards into the ballpark.

One would have to look at a trop map to see if the river would get high enough at the Harrison Square site that river water would even attempt to back flow into the park. I don't have an answer for that.

John B. Kalb said...

JQ - None of the core samples have been for checking for contamination of the soil - all have been for evaluation of the stability of the subsoil in re construction ready? This per Lyman. No soil has yet been removed as excavation - after October 31, I guess

J Q Taxpayer said...

John, thanks for the update. There is many areas of downtown that where filled in back in the 1800-1920 period. There is buried coal tar from when they made "coal gas!" Gosh, and to think they are thinking about doing it again!!!

I wonder where it is going to be trucked to?

Well if you hear anything post it. Again thanks for the info.

Anonymous said...

I do not know if that is correct- but I am CERTAIN that I heard it was at least 5 feet below street level.

Just like the newer big-league parks are!

That was discussed at the event at the Grand Wayne when they showed POTENTIAL blueprints of the condos.

Anonymous said...

Here in MN we are getting a new stadium for our baseball team (ho-hum).
Interesting fact- The breaking ground event was scheduled for the evening the I-35 bridge collape.
No they did not do it that day, just a few weeks later.

Tell me again why we need new stadiums when our infanstructure is falling appart along w/ our childrens education?


fairplaybeach said...

We took the dirt at River City for the Library project, and the Grand Wayne, I believe too... Some of that dirt may have been hauled back to the project.

Anonymous said...

Funny to hear what Pat White considers newsworthy. The stadium of my alma mater, the University of Michigan, is well below street level and was built 80 years ago. And, I may be wrong, but I think engineering has made a few advancements since then.

Phil Marx said...


That's interesting, sounds like a win-win. Just curious, who initiated this deal. Did you ask the city for the dirt, or did someone from the city approach you and ask if you would take the dirt.

J Q Taxpayer said...

Fairplay, you mean you filled the area there along the river?

Great photo shots from overhead. I have never been back in that area.

Robert Enders said...

The Library had to get rid of dirt for their renovation, while the Grand Wayne Center needed dirt for fill in. Sometimes you can get dirt for free if someone needs to get rid of it.

J Q Taxpayer said...

So they just stored dirt there? I thought by the overview they may have filled some so it was a little higher above the river.

Dahhh, what do I know.

fairplaybeach said...

Robert may be right. I remember some was taken back and that may have been for the Grand Wayne Project. I remember Dave, the landlord saying some would be taken back. I'm pretty sure that they contacted him.

It was already higher than the river there. The extra dirt just helped make it a little leveler in places with the idea of putting in either softball diamonds or a soccer field... neither of which have happened yet. Grass has been planted so I'm not sure anymore would be wanted, though he's pretty creative and scrappy about using unwanted things.

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