WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is giving public-private partnerships a shot at reviving the nation’s most popular outdoor amusement park.
The Department of Land and Natural Resources, which oversees the National Zoo and Aquarium, said Wednesday it’s awarding a $1.1 billion grant to 20 private developers for the redevelopment of the park and other sites in the area.
The agency said it wants to help develop an area that is currently underutilized.
It has spent years trying to convince private entities to help revive the park, which was closed in 2011 and reopened in 2016.
The announcement came after the city’s Land and Water Conservation Board approved a $2.1 million grant to renovate the park for $1 billion.
The board is reviewing the $1-billion offer.
The land includes the Zoo parking lot and the rest of the Zoo grounds, as well as a large piece of land near the Washington Monument.
It is expected to be ready for public use by 2019.
The park is located in the heart of downtown Washington, home to some of the nation´s most iconic monuments, including the Washington National Cathedral, the Capitol, and the National Mall.