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The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department has been awarded $2.7 million from a state grant to fund a park at 17th and Folsom streets.

The 17th Street and Folsom Park Development Project proposes to turn half of a 220-car parking lot at the intersection into a neighborhood space. Currently, the lot is owned by the Public Utilities Commission and leased by the University of California, San Francisco.

Several establishments whose employees and patrons use the lot — including ODC Dance Commons and the Mission Neighborhood Health Center — have expressed dismay about the project.

The design process for the park began in December of last year, and the latest blueprints include more than one community garden, an amphitheater, a children’s play area and a rainwater collection system, along with other elements that reduce air and water pollution.

Future plans may include converting the other half of the park into affordable housing.

The venture began as collaboration between the city’s Planning Department, Recreation and Park Department and community organizations, including People Organizing to Demand Environmental and Economic Rights.

The project had requested $5 million. Of the 500 applicants for the grant, only 62 were selected.

“We still have to identify additional funds to complete the project, so stay tuned for notices on upcoming workshops, probably starting in the new year,” wrote Susan Exline, a planner with the San Francisco Planning Department, in an e-mail to community members.

Visit the department’s website for more information.

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