Downtown Redevelopment

September 2008 - Posts

This could be the start of something big

At long last, we've got our consulting team under contract and work on the Downtown Redevelopment and Expansion Master Plan is about to get under way.

The City Council approved a contract with the lead consulting firm on Aug. 28. The goal of the planning effort is to create a series of practical yet forward-thinking strategies to guide the future development and growth of the downtown area. The Plan will be environmentally responsible, respectful of the existing landscape and built environment, financially feasible, and visionary.

In addition to land use and design, the planning process includes an analysis of economic opportunities, transportation and utility infrastructure needs, and historic preservation issues associated with the redevelopment and expansion of the downtown area.

Torti Gallas is the lead firm for the effort. Sub-consultants are Economic Research Associates (economic analysis), Walter P. Moore Inc. (transportation engineering),  MelĂ©ndrez (landscape architecture), Urban Design Group (civil engineering), Limbacher & Godfrey (historic preservation), and BWM Group (landscaping, way finding and local support).

The City hired consulting firm Glatting Jackson in 2007 to develop a scope of work to ensure we included the appropriate topics in this sector development planning. As part of the scoping process late last year, City staff and the consultants held an intensive two-day series of focus groups, interviews, and a public meeting with key stakeholders, technical experts, and members of the community.

If you want specifics of how the planning process will unfold, here's the scope of services that lays it out in some detail.

We expect the first opportunities for broad public input will occur in approximately two months when Torti Gallas will lead a week-long charrette, featuring a store-front studio downtown where people can come and go to provide input. The consultants are also scheduled for a site visit approximately one month after the contract is awarded, and we expect they will conduct some one-on-one interviews at that time.

We anticipate the planning effort to last nine to 12 months.

We'll provide regular updates as the plan progresses, including a timeline, and look forward to everyone's input on this exciting project.

Will Hampton is the project manager for the Downtown Redevelopment and Expansion Master Plan. If you have questions, contact him directly at 218-5409 or [email protected]