It takes a village to revitalize downtown

Published 11:23 pm Friday, June 17, 2016

What’s your vision downtown?

That’s what a facilitator asked on Thursday to the nearly 70 people gathered at the first of a series of visioning meeting for downtown development plan.

The responses were quick and varied: family friendly, multi-use, vibrant, charming, historic and more.

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The focus of the meeting is to help build a Downtown Revitalization Plan to address programmatic, structural and aesthetic improvements to maximize the economic opportunities in Downtown Troy while protecting cultural and historical resources. And, just like raising a child, doing so will take a village – our village to be exact.

The point of the development process is to engage the community – not just the property owners and retailers who work in Downtown or the civic leaders tasked with guiding our community.

The process needs input from all of us – whether you’re a longtime patron with a vested interest in preserving the history of downtown or a newcomer to the community, seeing opportunities and challenges through a fresh set of eyes.

Troy’s downtown area – which extends beyond the Court Square – was once the heartbeat of our community. Thanks to growth and progress, development grew along the heavily trafficked U.S. 231 corridor, and that transportation corridor pumps much needed vitality into our economy every day. But our downtown is our history, it’s our core, and we’ve seen a growing demand for the charms of preserving and revitalizing that which is uniquely “Troy.”

Civic leaders hope that at the end of this process we will have a 10-year plan for revitalizing downtown – a plan that pulls the best of new ideas and old, weaving together the concerns of downtown retailers and residents who live across town.

The information shared during the first meeting is available online at for all to review and read.

The next meeting takes place at 5 p.m. July 7 at the Studio. That’s when the planning committee will begin to share some of its recommendations for the plan – from where and how to add parking to redirecting traffic to providing walking and bike paths to connect to Troy University – and seek more public input.

We hope you’ll take the time to get engaged in the process. After all, it’s our village, and our downtown.