AUBURN — With a number of redevelopment tasks underway, officers have created a longer-term take a look at Auburn’s downtown and are contemplating a plan so as to add a downtown coordinator place.
Throughout a Metropolis Council workshop this week, employees outlined town’s five-year downtown revitalization plan, which focuses on walkability, redeveloping Nice Falls Plaza, arts and leisure and establishing a “downtown administration district” that would embrace a coordinator.
A number of sections of the plan are tasks which are within the works, however based on Financial Growth Director Jay Brenchick, having the total plan on-line will hopefully make it extra digestible for residents and elected officers.
Initiatives outlined embrace long-planned pedestrian security enhancements to Courtroom Avenue, Library Avenue and areas in New Auburn adjoining to the newly redeveloped Anniversary Park. There are additionally long-term tasks like making Mechanics Row a two-way road and including parking to offset the potential growth of the city-owned floor stage car parking zone alongside Essential Avenue.
Additionally included is a proposed overhaul of Pageant Plaza and plans for a “pocket park” alongside the Androscoggin River.
To drive all of the work, officers are weighing choices for becoming a member of Essential Avenue Maine, a Maine Growth Basis program, or remodeling employees to higher tackle points particular to the downtown space.
Brenchick stated Thursday that he has had preliminary discussions with the Maine Growth Basis a couple of employees go to to Auburn, however the effort continues to be within the “investigation stage.”
The Essential Avenue Maine program, which makes use of a “four-point strategy” to financial growth created by the Nationwide Essential Avenue Heart, has confirmed efficient in a number of different Maine communities. Ten municipalities are members, together with Augusta, Tub, Biddeford, Brunswick, Saco and Westbrook
In keeping with the downtown plan, “Different communities have seen extra vibrant, wholesome downtowns leading to job creation, enterprise progress, constructing rehabilitation, and cultural enhancement” from this system.
Turning into a member is a prolonged course of and is predicated on an accreditation of labor completed over time, the plan states. Brenchick stated after assembly with the MDF, Auburn should resolve if it desires to be an affiliate member — a much less rigorous involvement that also affords incentives — or a full member, which comes with funding and employees necessities.
Finally, the Metropolis Council must log off if Auburn have been to maneuver ahead, however Brenchick stated he’s hoping to have extra concrete steps in place over the subsequent six months.
However, he stated, work to market city-owned properties and urge growth is ongoing.
In August, Brenchick stated builders have been wanting on the city-owned 186 Essential St., which overlooks the river, for some kind of restaurant or brewery house, with market price residences above. The “pocket park” included within the plan could be subsequent to the property.
He instructed the council that when speaking to builders, many have urged town to “deal with invasive crops and prune timber to permit higher views of river.” He stated a park might additionally embrace a dock for launching kayaks.
Different concepts included within the plan are establishing a revolving mortgage fund to assist renovate constructing facades; a marketing strategy contest and enterprise incubator; and a transport container “cluster” of companies.
Below the humanities and leisure part, the plans requires persevering with town’s rising roster of occasions and including to its public artwork, together with encouraging an artwork studio co-working house.
Through the workshop, Metropolis Supervisor Phil Crowell stated discussing the Essential Avenue Maine thought will probably be a part of strategic planning conferences with newly-elected metropolis councilors after the Nov. 2 election.
Within the meantime, Brenchick stated the plan can function a hub for folks to see the quantity of exercise within the works.
“We have already got lots occurring and there’s extra coming,” he stated. “It helps folks totally perceive, and for elected officers, it offers them a greater take a look at the larger image.”