Alley Poyner Macchietto Architectural Design Firm, lead consultants for the Downtown Revitalization plan, gave a presentation to Grand Island community members Tuesday.
Plans include creating more business for the downtown area.
Presenters said the city's historic and cultural core is downtown, but added that it isn't being used to its fullest potential. Marco Floreani, community development administrator said, "We're hoping this revitalization plan can spark more development."
City officials hope this project will help create more businesses in Grand Island, and they want the project to get underway.
"We don't want the plan to sit on a desk we want people to have it and implement it," said Floreani. However, the plan may have to overcome some challenges first.
One of the challenges the city will need to address before implementing any plan is the large size of the downtown area. Creating the perfect environment may be difficult because the downtown area is made up of more than a dozen blocks.
On the flip side, the size of the downtown area increases the potential for investment. "The buildings are bigger which is a bonus, but also that's more funding and hurdles and risks involved," said Floreani.
Over the last six months, input has been received from one community meeting and various focus groups covering the topic of downtown revitalization. Feedback from these meetings has been combined with the expertise of Alley Poyner Macchietto to create the proposed plan.
The plan puts a focus on recruiting more business to the downtown area.
The Chocolate Bar's co-owner, Amos Anson said, "As a business owner, I picked to invest a substantial amount into a building was the architecture of the building low cast to purchase it and I did see the vision for the future."
The vision for the project is to create a downtown with multi–use buildings to bring more residents to the area and create a new environment where streets are filled with pedestrians.
The next phase is applying for a $350,000 grant from the state by the end of March.