|Address||6249 7th Street NE|
|Start Date||May 2026|
|End Date||July 2027|
|Current Status||Implementation Planning|
|Park Type||Community Park|
|Special Use||Sledding Hill|
Commons Park is the City's most popular park and includes a rentable shelter, hockey rinks, warming house, playground, volleyball courts, tennis courts, a basketball court, sledding hill, ballfields and turf fields used for football and soccer.
Commons Park is well-used for recreation programming, athletic groups and active play. It adjoins the Fridley Middle School with combined recreational spaces.
Recommendations and Estimate of Probable Costs
General recommendations include improving and replacing existing amenities with some reorganization to improve overall function, accessibility and user satisfaction while still meeting the needs of programmed athletics by keeping the primary baseball field. New amenities are identified to meet current demands and trends, as well as to expand upon four-season recreation. Coordination and partnership with the school district will be necessary for some of the recommendations shown on school property and necessary for a balance of recreational amenities.
- Integration of winter activities within a central location with an improved sledding hill and relocated paved hockey rink for multi-season use with optimal N-S orientation
- Community pavilion building with meeting room, outdoor fire pit, gathering spaces and restrooms
- Inclusive playground with a focus on unique and challenging equipment meeting a broad range of ages and abilities
- Loop trails for improved connectivity within the park
- Reorganization and improved athletic fields for greater function and flexibility
- Addition of a splash pad with adjoining seating plaza with shade
- Expansion of picnic spaces and picnic shelters
- Addition of dedicated pickleball court complex (includes removal of two existing tennis courts)
- Improved and expanded parking
- Expanded volleyball courts
- Replace existing basketball court
The estimate of probable costs ranges from $8.5 to $12 million for base preferred improvements and an additional $1.8 to $2.6 million for deferred or alternate improvements.
A total of $50 million in possible park system improvements were identified in the Park Plan. Based on resident input, Fridley City Council directed staff to work with a Park Plan Refinement Task Force advisory group to recommend $30 million in park projects that would be most impactful to the community.
Further, a resident Finance Task Force recommended funding the park system improvement plan by issuing General Obligation (GO) Tax Abatement Bonds for $20 million in bond proceeds, being repaid over no more than 15 years, with an additional $10 million to come from other City of Fridley funds.
Tax abatement is a tool that can be used by cities to abate all or a portion of property taxes levied by the City for a given purpose, such as public infrastructure improvements. All taxpayers, whether identified as an abated parcel or not, will continue to pay property taxes as they normally would. Minnesota Statute 469.1813 gives cities authority for tax abatement, and this has become an increasingly common means of funding park improvements, as they provide benefit to all residents. A requirement is holding a public hearing for the consideration of tax abatement, and that was held on May 23, 2022.The bonds will be repaid over 15 years with annual debt service payments being levied for and it is likely there will be an increase in property taxes beginning in 2023.
This plan will provide many opportunities for expanded recreation programming, enjoyment of nature and social gatherings. Enhancing and modernizing the city park system will position Fridley as a great place to live, work and play now and for many years to come.