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Revitalizing the heart of Grand Island
The look and feel of downtown Grand Island could be soon changing.
Plans were unveiled Tuesday to attract businesses and residents to make the area more vibrant.
The city has spent the past six months receiving input from the community and various focus groups on how to make downtown the focus of the city.
Along with those comments, an Omaha architectural design firm came up with a plan to revitalize this area.
The 16 blocks of downtown Grand Island could soon undergo a facelift.
"They have identified potential projects that could help revitalize downtown make it a more active place," said Community Development Administrator Marco Floreani.
Phase one of the Downtown Revitalization Plan was presented to the community Tuesday afternoon.
"Phase one is a planning grant so basically it gives us funding. It gives the city of Grand Island funding to develop a development plan for the downtown district," said Megan Lutz, Alley Poyner Macchietto Architectural Design.
The city says the redevelopment is needed to attract people to the downtown area.
"More than ever, young people and retirees are looking to maybe live downtown, they like that urban environment and the amenities that come with that," Floreani said.
One of the groups who supports the project and is a big reason as to why the study was done is the Grand Island Business Improvement District.
"It's like of a blueprint for us, kind of a road map, I guess, for the future development of downtown," said Tom Diller, Business Improvement District.
The plan is part of a $50,000 effort to lay out the framework for the downtown redevelopment. Phase two of the plan will include the city applying for a $350,000 grant to implement the project.
"We'll have two years to use the phase two funds, so we'll have two years will be our deadline to use that anticipated $350,000," said Floreani.
But the changes won't happen overnight.
"Two to five years and even five to ten years," Floreani said.
This same design firm also created Hastings revitalization plans. That plan was presented Monday night.
There will be another chance to see Grand Island's plan Tuesday night during the city council meeting.
The plan will also be on the city of Grand Island's website.
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