With all of the excitement and change happening in Downtown Evansville, it was time for a new plan to guide the downtown transformation. Working with Denver-based PUMA and Rundell Ernstberger Asssociates of Indianapolis, IN, our team developed a five-to-seven year plan that lays out realistic goals to revitalize Downtown economically and culturally. It also serves as a roadmap for attracting a new generation of young talent, vitality and investment.
The plan builds upon the previous planning efforts and embraces the goals and values of many of the projects and independent plans that come before this one. The grassroots, community-wide visioning process, VOICE, also contributed to the plan elements.
As part of the strategic planning process, a market assessment was conducted to help identify recommendations for public and private investments. Five key market opportunities were identified including residential, retail, office, hospitality and public space.
Out of the research arose four Transformative Ideas that will influence a new era for a thriving, mixed use downtown that is a regional and national destination. The four Transformative Ideas include revitalizing Main Street, activating the riverfront, creating a NoCo Makers District and enhancing public spaces. Along with these ideas, came an Action Plan to ensure these ideas are implemented. The most visible part of the Action Plan is creating the Evansville Downtown Alliance. This organization would be charged with creating lasting and meaningful change in Evansville and managing the effort.
The master plan was presented to the community and was well received by all. The plan brought about excitement and enthusiasm from the young and old to the business owner and retired. This plan will achieve the goal to frame Downtown Evansville as “an activated, innovative, connected neighborhood.”