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Downtown plan to be unveiled today
Connectivity, housing to be part of downtown's future
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 The Gainesville City Council will get its first look at a new downtown strategic plan when it meets this morning.

Years in the making, the plan aims to guide and manage growth in the city’s urban core.

Four themes for downtown emerged from focus groups to help develop the strategic plan, according to officials: connectivity, programming, infill design and housing.

Officials said public outreach tried to capture a sense of what residents find attractive about downtown, what turns them off, what they value most and what’s missing or needs changing.

A desire for housing downtown was perhaps the biggest takeaway, followed by a desire to retain the area’s historic character.

Officials have said it’s important for the plan to incorporate streetscaping ideas, plans to install wayfinding signs directing traffic to points of interest, a proposal to renovate Roosevelt Square and the midtown greenway.

And generating more active use downtown could include promoting the emergence of frequent live music.

The plan is expected to include parameters for building out the downtown core, including promotion of mixed-use buildings.

A final consideration was getting a sense of just how far downtown really extends.

For example, the area between the nexus of Jesse Jewell Parkway, EE Butler, and Academy and West Academy streets may not entirely define downtown Gainesville, officials have said.

But will the Green Street and Oak Street business corridors be included?

Visit tomorrow afternoon for the answers.


City Council special called meeting

When: 9 a.m. today

What: Review downtown strategic plan

Where: Municipal courtroom in the Public Safety Complex, 701 Queen City Parkway