Records provide detail on Strong, other Inner Loop plans
by: Brian Sharp
An expanded World Video Game Hall of Fame would dominate a proposed Strong Museum of Play addition with what is promised as “the world’s biggest arcade” and other interactive, immersive displays.
Strong’s $105 million plan envisions a “Neighborhood of Play” to include six apartment buildings totaling 201 market-rate units, space for street-level retail shops and restaurants, an all-suites hotel and a parking garage. The hotel will have a pool, spa and water feature but not on the scale of a water park attraction. A new east-west Adventure Street connecting Woodbury Boulevard to Union Street would traverse the area bordered by wide, decorative sidewalks, sculptures and playful street fixtures.
The proposal is one of three developments that Mayor Lovely Warren is recommending for redevelopment of the Inner Loop. If built, it could help propel an expanded marketing campaign into neighboring states and Ontario, Canada, that promises to draw another 400,000 people annually, nearly doubling attendance within four years of completion.
Negotiations are ongoing. The other two proposals are mixed-use apartment buildings, one of which Warren put back on the table after a divided review committee passed on the project, internal memos show.
The city released summaries and renderings of the preferred projects back in September, but only recently turned over the memos, internal project scoring matrix and the full proposals in response to a Democrat and Chronicle open records request. Included in the documents was a rejected plan to build four- and five-story buildings on either side of East Avenue, with parks just beyond both buildings to the north and south.