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Discovery Green Turns Four

A few years ago no one knew for sure if a park in downtown Houston would work, but as Discovery Green celebrates its four year anniversary this month, just about everyone agrees it has been a resounding success. Bill Stamps looks at what the park has meant to the rest of downtown.



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The sound of children playing on a beautiful afternoon is something Discovery Green’s President Barry Mandel didn’t think he’d ever hear in Downtown Houston.

I’m a fourth generation Houstonian and as a child growing up we were told never go downtown. Because there was nothing for us to go downtown for.

Discovery Green is a 12-acre park created four years ago by a public-private partnership between the City of Houston and the non-profit Discovery Green Conservancy. The park has welcomed more than 3 million visitors and hosted more than 1,000 public and private events. The park played a big role last when Houston hosted the NCAA Final Four.

When fans weren’t at Reliant stadium screaming and yelling for their team, many of them were downtown at the park taking in concerts, like this concert by the Kings of Leon.

Developer Marvy Finger built the 347 unit One Park Place high rise apartments right across the street from Discovery Green. He has nothing but praise for Mandel and his ability to put in the right events at the park.

“Whether you’re a sports fan, whatever type of music you know he brings in a venue that really does satisfy the needs across the board of our diverse makeup of population in the city.”

Since the park was built in there’s been a jump in downtown construction and new business.

As for the future of discovery Green, Mandel has this thought.

“I think our relationship is going to grow even closer to the convention center as we start to use the park as an amenity for attracting and selling other conventions.”

They’ve already landed one big one, the NCAA Final Four comes back to Houston in 2016.

Bill Stamps, KUHF News.

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