On the Beat in Bluffton

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A downtown to remember

Representatives from a consulting firm specializing in revitalizing downtowns met with the public last night to discuss how to revitalize downtown Bluffton — again. You can learn more about the discussion in the Tuesday, Oct. 18, News-Banner. However, the following are highlights from the firm's study of downtown Bluffton from 2002. An entire copy of the plan is available for review through the mayor's office.

"During the course of developing the Downtown Action Agenda contained in this document, the public expressed a strong desire to build on (the current downtown's strengths) in order to create the following type of Downtown."
  • One that has products and attractions not found elsewhere, as well as specialty businesses and more retail — making it a destination.
  • A unique Downtown that is family-oriented, can attract more customers, and "has our own niche."
  • A Downtown that builds on its existing businesses and attractions to reclaim its image as the Parlor City — meaning that it is beautiful, comfortable, and friendly.

"Residents and business owners were asked to rate a list of possible Downtown improvements as being "very important," "somewhat important," or "not important" at this time. Seven improvements were rated "very important."
  • Increase the variety of retail goods
  • Recruit additional retail businesses
  • Improve the variety of restaurants
  • Improve parking availability
  • Improve parking convenience
  • Improve the quality of restaurants
  • Improve the quality of retail goods

"By the year 2007, Downtown Bluffton would contain the following uses:"
  • Evening restaurant
  • New businesses (bookstore, 24 hour/day drug store, full service bakery, grocery store, shoe stoe, entertainment, movie theater, things for families, women's clothing, fabric store)
  • existing strong businesses
  • art and entertainment
  • professional offices
  • residential uses
  • Medical and health care uses
  • Government offices and facilities
  • "Activities for kids"
  • Education — university classes, adult education, etc.
  • Public transportation
  • A visitor center

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