The new park that the city built on the site of a former factory site at 45 Walnut St. is now open to the public. The areas where grass has been seeded are roped off, but the public is welcome to enjoy the rest of the park. “The project in its construction phase was done on schedule and within budget and we are excited to open it up to the public,” said Brendan Callahan, the city’s senior planner. A formal ribbon cutting for the park, to be known as the East End Peabody Veterans Memorial Park, will be held next spring. The two-phase project, carried out by T Ford Co. of Georgetown, began in June. The first phase involved placing a protective cap over the entire property to prevent contaminants in the soil from migrating to the surface. The second phase involved construction of the park, which features a large entry plaza with benches, a large grassy area, new trees and bushes, a perimeter walkway, an elevated boardwalk connecting the walkway to Wallis Street, and a stage connected to the boardwalk. An existing wetlands area was also restored. The 1.3-acre area site was acquired by the city in 2009. A tannery was located on the property from 1917 until the 1940s, after which it was used by New England Sportswear, a manufacturer of leather and suede apparel, until 1990. Since then it had been vacant.
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