catalyst study site

Citizens Invited to Learn More About Downtown Catalyst Study:
Tuesday, October 20 at 7:00 p.m. 

Citizens are invited to a public information session on the Downtown Catalyst Study on Tuesday, October 20 at 7:00 p.m. at Davidson Town Hall. We will start with a brief presentation of the project (15-20 minutes) to share the history, timeline, and what we’ve heard from the public so far. We will share conceptual renderings of how this 3.5 acre parcel of town-owned land could evolve. There will be a Q&A session and time for feedback after the presentation.

Consultants with the Development Finance Initiative (DFI), a program of the UNC School of Government, are providing specialized finance and development expertise to the Town of Davidson to determine the potential for a partnership to develop the area.  The objectives include further enlivening downtown in the face of growth at the interstate and Hwy 73 areas, and invigorating development on South Main Street. Other goals are to add shops, restaurants, offices, residences, parking, outdoor green space, and a permanent home for the Davidson Farmer’s Market on town-owned land. The study currently shows a plan to raze town hall and relocate it to another downtown area and create a new street that could be made pedestrian-only to house the Davidson Farmer’s Market and other town-sponsored events when they occur.

Why is the town considering this project?  At first, our historic downtown Main Street was our only retail area, then the South Main area developed, and then in the early 2000s, development began at the Circles @ 30, based on plans that date back to the 1980s. With the retail, office, and restaurant space we currently have in town, we are at a 98% occupancy rate. Our citizen surveys show that residents want more shopping and employment opportunities in town.

Our 2010 comprehensive plan, created over the course of a year with over 150 citizens’ input, calls for a “better mix of appropriate commercial uses downtown,” “a viable economy that is diverse and sustainable,” and “jobs for residents of Davidson.”  The comprehensive plan also designates downtown as a mixed-use node, and it connects the South Main commercial district to the historic “postcard” area of Main Street. One of our goals is to encourage pedestrian traffic to South Main and we think this potential solution including active, pedestrian-scaled building frontage and public spaces will draw people down the street.  Market demand analysis shows we can support more retail, office, and residential space downtown.  We also recognize there is a need for more parking downtown and would like to address that issue through this study. 

After reporting to the board of commissioners and citizens at board meetings in October and December 2014 and August 2015, and hearing from citizens at public information sessions in February and June, DFI has incorporated all input into a feasibility analysis. The DFI team of consultants and architects will return to Davidson on October 20 to share the latest plans and some renderings to allow citizens to visualize how the area could look, and get feedback from citizens. 

“We want our citizens to learn more about this study and provide feedback to guide the process,” said Economic Development Manager Kim Fleming. 

Prior to this public information session, we encourage you to learn more at www.townofdavidson.org/catalyst.

If you are unable to attend this session, we’ll be live streaming it at this link: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/davidson-town-board-meetings. After the meeting is live streamed, the video will be saved on this channel for future viewing and posted to our website.
If you are unable to attend the meeting and would like to provide feedback, we’d still like to hear from you. Please contact Economic Development Manager Kim Fleming at kfleming@townofdavidson.org or 704-940-9622 or fill out a form at town hall.

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