New park could help revitalize Old Hyde Park

Residents in Hyde Park got together Thursday night at a community fair to look at development plans to help improve the area.  
 
One of those plans includes transforming a community eyesore into a place for people to hang out. 
 
The place is Swann Pond, which sits on the corner of Swann Avenue and Rome Avenue in Hyde Park.  Kathy Durdin, President of the Historic Hyde Park Neighborhood Association, told us about some of the plans for the pond. "You will see a fountain, you will see some arbor areas which will involve benches," she said.
 
The plan also calls for putting in new and improved walkways that will run around the pond.  Those walkways will also include new benches for people to sit and take in the view of the area.  "Everyone is extremely excited. Everybody has regarded this as one of our number one activities that we need to accomplish," Durdin told us.
 
One of the ideas behind the plan is to hopefully bring more foot traffic over to the Hyde Park Village area which in turn will hopefully keep more businesses from locking their doors.  People behind the plan also hope it will help bring in more businesses to the area.
 
One of those businesses hoping to see an increase in foot traffic is Downtown Dogs, a small, independantly owned business located in Hyde Park Village. "Hyde Park Village really relies on a lot of people waking over here through the shops and all the restaurants so anything to make the pedestrian experience better I think is a great idea," Manager Jenni Bernstein told us.
 
Right now, this is all just an idea. After some community input, the plan will go into the final stages of becoming a reality, giving hope to some that many of the swanky businesses that left will come back. "I love it but I just want to see more of the stores come back and maybe more of a variety," Pat Burns, a frequent visitor to the area told us.
 
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