Plan proposes strategies for downtown vitality

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Last week, the City of Troy released the Downtown Plan, a 116-page document detailing strategies that can be taken to revitalize Downtown Troy over the next 10 years.

The strategies listed in the document are broken into five categories: promotion, vitality, appearance, movement and linkages.

The second category, vitality, deals with bringing people downtown for reasons other than shopping and services, such as restaurants, cultural arts events, historic tourism and recreation events.

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One strategy included in this category is encouraging downtown living.

The strategy narrative explains that living downtown promotes a sense of ownership for the area. The text also explains how residential development downtown could boost commercial development in the area.

“It is a common practice to base commercial development on the number of rooftops within a radius area of a site or the number of cars passing a site. Downtown Troy has the potential to further expand downtown residential options through infill development in vacant and partially-vacant structures and through new construction on unused sites.”

One proposal of the document is for a townhouse complex on East College Street between Three Notch Street and Wiley Street. The strategy also proposes loft apartments on the upper floors of retail and office buildings.

Another strategy in the vitality category proposes building a stronger cultural arts atmosphere and community.

The strategy states that the Johnson Center for the Arts and Troy Public Library are meeting the needs for fine art exhibits and gallery spaces, but that more could be done for craftsmen and artisans that exhibit their work in outdoor markets.

One way that is proposed to promote this is the creation of a “makerspace” or artist co-op behind the façade of the Light Plan, or Balmer’s Automotive, on East College Street.

“According to Maker Media, a ‘makerspace’ is a center that will often combine manufacturing equipment, community and education for the purposes of enabling community members to design, prototype and create manufactured works that wouldn’t be possible to create with resources available to individuals working alone.”

These facilities could bring more people to the area for meetings and classes as well as spurring the need for art supply retail stores according to the document.

The final strategy to promote the vitality of Downtown Troy is the creation of a recreation and tourism base downtown by adding recreational space.

Two possible options included are the construction of a small park or “parklet” at the base of the historic Troy water tower and the potential development of an amphitheater park in the are behind the Pike County Courthouse.

“It is suggested that Troy expand its venue options for live acts with construction of an amphitheater space that can be used for casual gathering and recreation space when concerts are not taking place… As proposed, the venue would have an amphitheater, splash pad, walking trail, overlook, picnic tables and a water feature making the space multifunctional for both daytime casual use and daytime and nighttime concert [or] event use.”

The water tower parklet is described as a way to give residents a nice place to rest while improving the appearance of the water tower.

The larger projects included in this category, including the consideration of the amphitheater par and the artist co-op, are listed among the lowest priorities in the document at this time.

The water tower parklet is listed as a level 2 priority out of five priority levels.

The encouragement of loft apartments and the promotion of cultural arts and recreational events are listed as top priorities.

The full Downtown Plan can be viewed at

To request a physical copy of the plan, to comment, or to receive more information contact Melissa Sanders by calling 334-670-6058 or by sending an email to

The plan is open for public comment until October 13. It will be presented to the Troy Planning Commission on October 27 at their regular meeting.