Neighbors and to celebrate the acquisition of a 4.5-acre parcel of land that will become .
After years-long negotiations with Caltrans, escrow closed on Albany's purchase of the property last month. Once developed, it will include a neighborhood park, the permanent home for the city Maintenance Center, and a bike path from the Richmond border to the .
The parcel is at the site of an old onramp to Interstate 80. The freeway was reconfigured in the 1990s and the onramp was closed. Neighbors have been hoping for a park there ever since.
"It was important that the city acquire the land," said Gary Class, chairman of the . "This is the largest part of Albany not served by a park."
alluded to the long negotiation process in her remarks. She praised city and state officials and especially the Pierce Street neighbors for not giving up.
Quoting Benjamin Franklin she said, "Energy and persistence conquer all things."
Three generations of the Armstrong family attended the festivities. Jacqueline Armstrong has lived in her house on Pierce Street for 75 years and has worked diligently on this project for nearly 20 years.
"When my granddaughter was a baby, we'd walk by this parcel and dream of a park. She's 18 now, and here we are."
The city will continue to work with the neighbors and the community to decide on the final concept for the park.
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