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Raleigh Picks Designer for Dix Park

Dix Park

Raleigh, NC – The same company that designed Brooklyn Bridge Park in New York will help Raleigh design a destination park on the Dorothea Dix property in downtown Raleigh.

Dix Park planners selected Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates as their lead consultant in developing the park, Mayor Nancy McFarlane announced Tuesday (Feb. 21). The city spent $52 million to buy the 308-acre property from the state government several years ago and last year established a structure to plan the park over the coming years.

The Dix Park executive committee – led by McFarlane and members of the Dix Park Conservancy – selected MVVA from 18 teams of landscape architects and design firms.

MVVA most recently earned praise for its work on Brooklyn Bridge Park, where it transformed a dilapidated district into a 85-acre civic area. The American Society of Landscape Architects selected MVVA as “Firm of the Year” in 2016 for its work on the Brooklyn park, according to the company’s website.

The Dix committee also considered West 8 and Sasaki, which has worked on parks across the world and has Raleigh’s Moore Square contract. Also considered was Nelson Byrd Woltz, a Virginia-based company that won a $18 billion competition to develop New York’s Hudson Yards.

“The Master Plan Executive Committee was extremely fortunate to have four incredibly talented consultants to choose from,” McFarlane said in a statement. “However, Michael Van Valkenburgh rose above the rest as the consultant best able to develop a master park plan that reflects the past, captures the present and reveals the future of Dorothea Dix Park. Raleigh is a hub of innovation, and I am so excited to see what Michael is able to accomplish in partnership with our wonderful community here in Raleigh.”

Raleigh and the Dix Park Conservancy have budgeted $3 million to pay for developing a master plan for the park.


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Phyllis Coley
Phyllis D. Coley is CEO/Publisher of Spectacular Magazine and Host of Spectacular Magazine Radio Show. With a B.A. in English from NCCU, the Durham native began her professional career as Promotions/Marketing Director for New York City’s WKTU-FM. While at the radio station, Coley discovered the rap group Kid ‘n Play and managed them for five years, guiding their music and movie careers to success. Moving back to Durham, Coley produced a nationally syndicated television show, The Electric Factory, while working as News Director for FOXY 107/104. In April 2002, recognizing a void in highlighting the achievements of African Americans, she started her own business publishing ACE Magazine. Coley launched Spectacular Magazine in November 2004. Recognizing the lack of pertinent and truthful information, Coley began Spectacular Magazine Radio Show in March 2009. Coley is the organizer of Durham's Annual MLK/Black History Month Parade and the Annual North Carolina Juneteenth Celebration. She currently serves on Central Children’s Home Board of Directors, Raleigh Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Advisors, as Immediate Past Secretary of the Durham Rotary Club Board of Directors and is one of the founding members of the Triangle United Way’s African American Leadership Initiative.

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