An outdoor 'park' the size of a living room? The backstory on what's coming to Redding

Michele Chandler Redding Record SearchlightPublished 6:41 PM EDT Sep 17, 2020Starting next week, restaurant pa

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Starting next week, restaurant patrons and others in downtown Redding will be able to relax in the city’s first permanent “parklet.”

Construction of the tiny sliver of a place for pedestrians to chill started going up on Thursday at 1600 Oregon Street at Yuba Street on land that used to be two parking spaces, roughly the size of a living room.

“You will be surprised how big that is,” said Anne Wallach Thomas, director of Shasta Living Streets, one of the organizers of Redding’s parklet movement, calling them “a way to get more ‘people space’ in the urban core.”

When complete, the parklet will contain a wooden deck, places to sit and be decorated with live plants, fencing and lights.

Thomas said her Shasta Living Streets organization raised money to pay for the demonstration project, which is located on city-owned property across the street from the Shasta County Courthouse.

She expects the parklet's completed cost to be between $10,000 and $30,000, including fees the urban revitalization group paid to Ryan Russell Studio to design the space.

Sierra Pacific Industries donated the wood used for the parklet’s deck, Thomas said.

The parklet use is permitted by the city of Redding to Julie Heleniak, the owner of the adjacent Carnegie's restaurant. While the city continues to own the property, Heleniak, who will pay the city fee, will be responsible for managing and maintaining the property.

“One of the reasons we’re here is because the building owner and the restaurant owner are committed to doing really good things for downtown,” said Thomas.

Thomas said her group will not be building parklets for other establishments, but hopes the example sparks interest.

“We build one. We got the city guidelines and now other businesses can … come here, check it out, see how it works, talk to the business owner here,” Thomas said.


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Michele Chandler covers city government and housing issues for the Redding Record Searchlight/USA Today Network. Follow her on Twitter at @MChandler_RS, call her at 530-225-8344 or email her at Please support our entire newsroom's commitment to public service journalism by subscribing today.
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