North Park Mini Park
Aerial shot of North Park Mini Park. Photo via North Park Business & Neighborhood Foundation Facebook

The city of San Diego officially opened the North Park Mini Park to residents in the North Park community Sunday with speeches from elected officials followed by a free community event.

Mayor Todd Gloria cut the ribbon on the new park, which was approved in 2012. He was joined by Senate President pro Tem Toni Atkins, Assemblyman Chris Ward and City Councilman Stephen Whitburn.

The $5 million, 21,780-square-foot mini park and plaza transformed a parking lot behind the site of the former historic North Park Theatre — now known as the Observatory.

Upgrades to the space included a musical play area, performance stage, seating areas with tables, chairs and benches, enhanced lighting, wayfinding pylons, bike racks, a drinking fountain and improved landscape and irrigation.

The park was approved a decade ago and the city began soliciting construction bids in 2019.

Two other mini parks were developed in San Diego in 2021: the La Paz Mini Park — which will transform a vacant dirt lot into green space in Valencia Park and is scheduled to be finished mid-2022 — broke ground in May; and the J Street Mini Park in the Stockton neighborhood was reopened in October following extensive improvements.

Last year, Gloria began the “Parks for All of Us” initiative, updating the city’s Parks Master Plan to prioritize park improvements in park-deficient and historically underserved communities, intended to help fund more projects like this in the future.

Updated at 6:15 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022

City News Service contributed to this article.