Visitor’s Center at Newburyport Waterfront Park Before Council

Monday November 01, 2021

Photo: Stewart Lytle / The Town Common. The existing restrooms at the park

NEWBURYPORT – The potentially controversial design of the proposed Visitor Center/Restroom at Market Landing Park on the Merrimack River waterfront will go before the City Council on Nov. 8. 

Any building that might obstruct views of the river has long faced opposition from advocates of an open waterfront.

The Visitor’s Center and Restroom building is the last piece of the preliminary design for the waterfront park that has not yet been approved. The council voted last week to approve the design for the rest of the 4-acre park, including the route of the 12-foot shared pathway that will parallel the river just above the embayment. 

Sasaki & Associates, the design team for the park, will refine its plan over the next few months, adding more detail, in hopes the comprehensive plan for the park will be “shovel ready” next year if and when construction funding from the state and federal governments are available in 2023.  

According to city planner Andrew Port, the construction of the new park, estimated at $8 million, could be completed in phases, depending on the flow of funds.    

Other than the design of the Visitors’ Center/Restroom building, there are a few other points of concern about the current park design, including commercial fishermen, who wanted to make sure service trucks for their boats are not blocked from getting to the waterfront.

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