In January 2012, the first parklet in Southern California was installed at Lola’s. It measures seven and a half feet wide and thirty feet long – equal to one and a half car parking spaces. But what is a parklet? In this case it’s 225 square feet of highly visible, beautifully designed outdoor dining space for twenty plus people. This is prime real estate owned by the City of Long Beach that was previously being used to park two cars for free. The second parklet at Berlin Bistro opened just this past April.
Both the Lola’s and Berlin parklets are organized on a private business model. The business deal Lola’s has with the City allows the restaurant to use the space as an extension of its sidewalk space. Lola’s pays $850/year for a “Sidewalk Restaurant Service Permit” from the City. Lola’s paid all costs of design, construction, maintenance and operations of the parklet to the City’s standards. Luis estimates $25,000 has been invested in creation of their parklet. Lola’s retains ownership of the parklet and can remove it anytime or for any reason.
Read more at Gazelles & the Art of Placemaking | Project for Public Spaces.
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