With construction underway on the Litchfield Park City Center, it has been announced that the project will now officially be called Litchfield Square.
With a central 2.5-acre park, the project is anticipated to include a mix of retail, restaurant, office and residential space in multistory buildings on the east side of Litchfield Road, north of Wigwam Boulevard.
During the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting on July 13, Woody Scoutten, the city’s engineer, said the project will be split into four phases, each with amenities to attract locals and tourists, such as a water feature, lawn event space, clock tower, playground and future amphitheater.
Estimated to cost $26 million in full, the project has five categorized guaranteed maximum prices.
“I work together with the CMAR (construction manager at risk) contractor or engineer to come up with the most cost-effective project, and then, when we’re ready to start construction, the contractor gives us what’s called a GMP, a guaranteed maximum price,” Scoutten explained. “So that’s a price that will not be exceeded, and will most likely cost less because there are things in there like contingencies and allowances and so on, but we know exactly what it’s going to cost.”
With infrastructure construction important to the city, as designs are being finalized, funding options are being considered and developers are showing interest, Litchfield Park has contracted with Achen-Gardner Construction.
The first GMP, set at $3.5 million, began July 12. The funds will cover the preparation of the construction site, installation of the sanitary sewer system, mass grading of most of the site and the order cost of long lead-time items.
The second GMP will begin on Aug. 16 at a cost of $2.5 million. This will include installation of the water and dry utility systems as well as the storm drain and underground stormwater retention system.
The third GMP is when Scoutten said the city will begin building streets. Estimated to start on Sept. 20, the Village Parkway extension, roundabout and related improvements, and phase one of the park are expected to cost $7 million.
Slated to begin in June 2022, the fourth GMP is set at $6 million and will include the construction of the remaining streets as well as the second, third and fourth phases of the park.
Lastly, a fifth GMP, set at $6 million, is what Scoutten is referring to as “final touches.”
“It’s the things that we don’t need to install right now but ultimately we want to have — things like the clock tower or the memorial items that go into the Memorial Park, the water feature, some of the major monuments, signage, the second restroom in the park. Things like that, that we will need in the future or would like to have in the future but will not get to that until sometime when the council is comfortable that the financing is there to pay for those,” Scoutten said.
One of the features Scoutten said residents are excited about is the clock tower, which he announced will be formally called the Paul Litchfield Clock Tower.
“The clock tower is in the middle of the Memorial Plaza. We’ll have a Blue Star Memorial,” Scoutten said. “The clock tower would be right in the middle of it. The initial design of the clock tower is about 30 feet tall and would be lighted so that there would be some effect in the evening. We’re going to be able to spot it from different points in the park and the Litchfield Square area.
“We will have some, I don’t know if it’s plaques, but some type of way of conveying to people at the base of the clock who Paul Litchfield was and the importance of what he did in this area with cotton farming and Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company and all that,” he said.
Scoutten said the clock tower, as well as the entire Litchfield Square, will be a great way to show residents and those visiting what the city is about and the rich history behind it.
“It’s very important to utilize this project as a way to inform all the people who are going to be coming here about Litchfield Park and its history, especially with the founder and everything that he did in this area,” he said.