New Designs for Larger ‘Reservoir Park’ Unveiled at Open House

Neighbors gathered at Unity Plaza for an open house dedicated to refining the design of the Balboa Reservoir development's park. Alex Mullaney/Ingleside Light

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Dozens of neighbors stopped by Unity Plaza on Saturday to see the new designs for the 1,100-unit Balboa Reservoir housing development’s park.

What they saw: More lawn, more green and more pavilion. (See the designs here.)

Dubbed Reservoir Park, the new recreational area will offer a pavilion, rain garden, community garden, playground and large lawn.

The changes to the previous design include 2,000 square feet of programmable space added to the pavilion and 2,190 square feet added to the Great Lawn. The 52-bed community garden was reconfigured to maximize food production and a communal table was added.

Representatives from AvalonBay Communities, BRIDGE Housing and GLS Landscape Architecture were on hand to answer questions and solicit comments.

“At our last community meeting there was a lot of interest in growing the grassy park area a little bit more and so that’s what we did,” AvalonBay Communities Development Director Nora Collins told the Ingleside Light.

The open house followed up on the July 24 open house also held in Unity Plaza where 75 people provided feedback on the design of the park and buildings.

Some of the input collected at the July open house was also used in the design review application for the development’s first three buildings in advance of which the development team submitted to the Planning Department in September, according to Collins.

The park and buildings will break ground together in late 2022 with the opening two and half years after that.

More Reservoir Park

BRIDGE Housing is building all of the affordable housing, creating the master plan and building all of the infrastructure, the company’s Executive Vice President Brad Wiblin told the Ingleside Light.

After hearing feedback from a resident that the Great Lawn was not much bigger than the courtyard of one of the housing developments, the design team expanded it as well as the lawn around the pavilion.

“The cost, quality of the materials and various components are going to lead to a very special place,” Wiblin said.

Jon Winston, Sunnyside resident and chair of the Balboa Reservoir Community Advisory Committee, said Reservoir Park will be an addition to the whole neighborhood, not just the reservoir.

“I think there’s lots of green space,” Winston said. “There’s a nice balance of programmed and non-programmed space. It’s going to be part of the community as well as integrated into the housing.”

Longtime Sunnyside resident Jennifer Heggie found the new design to be better, noting the angles of the pathways, or paseos, and the diversity of trees.

“I like the improvement,” she said. “It’s better than it was and so we’re really happy about that.”

Thirty-year Ingleside resident Nick Baluyut said the design of the park is really nice. He would like for his daughter to live in the development.

“I hope my daughter can buy one,” he said. “I’ve been following it for some time now.”

The development team is accepting comments on the new design of Reservoir Park via  email at balboareservoir@gmail.com. The deadline to send feedback is Oct. 29, 2021.