Switchyard Park

Bloomington, IN

A signature park amenity created from an abandoned railroad switchyard that will serve as a community gathering and event space while restoring an environmentally and ecologically compromised site.

Upon completion of the three-mile B-Line Trail through downtown, the City of Bloomington has turned its attention to defining a compelling vision for Switchyard Park, located along the southern end of the B-Line Trail. The City commissioned a multi-disciplinary design team led byREA to complete a comprehensive Master Plan for the Switchyard Park property.

The purpose of the Master Plan was to create a signature park amenity from an abandoned railroad switchyard that will serve as a community gathering and event space and restore an environmentally and ecologically compromised site. Key components of the master plan include: an inclusive public participation process using public meetings, social media, and community events to invite input; environmental and ecological remediation of the site; enhancing pedestrian and vehicular connections both within and outside of the park site; and providing an array of recreation amenities that respond to community needs while providing year-round activity. The plan also identifies phasing of site amenities and possible funding sources that include public-private partnerships and grants.

Another component of the plan explores how the revitalized park site can serve as a catalyst for economic development and community revitalization. The design team provided an understanding of the interplay of the economy, market and site characteristics of adjacent land uses and the feasibility of redevelopment in the vicinity of the park. The team analyzed economic and industry clusters, and demographic trends to develop projections of population, household and employment change as a foundation for real estate demand.

“We cannot calculate the millions of moments, and activities, events and memories that will happen on this land in the coming decades. But we know something about the effect of a major amenity like Switchyard Park on a City’s desirability and success.”

John Hamilton, Mayor of Bloomington
Project Groundbreaking, May 2018