Airport2Park, the coalition formed to turn Santa Monica Airport into a park, has announced its next event: we will be bringing together experts on public finance and economics for a public panel discussion to explore how the park can be paid for.
“There’s an overwhelming demand from residents to replace the airport with a park,” said Frank Gruber of Airport2Park, “But some critics claim we can’t afford it, so we’re bringing together the most knowledgeable people we can find to take a hard look at the facts and clarify how we can make this once in a lifetime opportunity come to fruition.”
The panel discussion, open to the public and entitled “Airport2Park: an Investment for the Future,” will take place Thursday evening, January 30th, in the Martin Luther King, Jr., Auditorium, at the Santa Monica Main Library, 601 Santa Monica Boulevard, Santa Monica. Doors will open at 6.30 and the program will begin at 7:00.
Topics will include capital and operating costs, park bonds and the availability of governmental grants, possibilities for philanthropic contributions, and the social and economic benefits of a park.
Background: On Oct. 31, 2013, the City of Santa Monica sued the Federal Aviation Administration to confirm the City’s right to close the airport after July 1, 2015, when a 1984 agreement with the FAA expires. Airport2Park.org was formed in summer 2013 to explore a positive vision for the future of the airport land.