PBID / Groundwerx News

Dogs bark approval: The Property-Based Improvement District worked with one of its commercial property owner members to turn a long-vacant parcel at 194 W. Santa Clara Street into a 2,000-square-foot dog park.

Since its opening Oct. 11, dogs of all sizes have romped on artificial turf and over wood stumps, and played with toys donated by Andy’s Pet Shop.

“Thanks to the PBID for creating a great safe environment for our four-legged companions,” said Mark Haney, a One South Market resident with three dogs. Hart’s Dog Park is set on downtown’s busiest corridor and in immediate vicinity of more than 2,000 recently built residences.

“I’m proud that the PBID is a part of this, because it is these types of projects that creates community and makes people say, ‘I want to live here,’ ” said PBID President Chuck Hammers.

Benches, planters and energy-efficient lighting make the park appealing to dog-owners, too. A mural by local artist Tom Colla acknowledges Hart’s, a former long-time downtown department store. Groundwerx will maintain the pocket park.

The site has remained vacant for more than a decade after a fire destroyed the previous structure. The park will remain in place until the site is developed. The property owner also owns the small buildings on either side of the park.