Three distinguished Aiken teams have come out in help of Newberry Street’s inclusion into Project Pascalis, the downtown Aiken revitalization mission.
The Aiken Municipal Development Commission unanimously handed a decision in help of the town of Aiken conveying a portion of that road to RPM Development Partners LLC throughout a Monday morning assembly.
This decision additionally was supported by the Aiken Chamber of Commerce and the Aiken Corporation.
Last week, the Aiken Standard reported on new plans for Project Pascalis that included the town’s previous Municipal Building being remodeled right into a convention heart with retail house. Previously, the convention heart was designed to be positioned between Newberry Street and Bee Lane.
Under the brand new proposed designs, an space referred to as The Promenade would substitute the southbound lane on Newberry Street between Park and Richland avenues with grass, water options and timber.
“The city of Aiken’s leadership has the opportunity to create positive and transformational change to the Newberry Street Festival Area,” said Keith Wood, chairman of the event fee. “The mission is predicted to create in extra of 150 new jobs and substitute misplaced floor parking alongside Newberry with structured parking. It can even deliver an estimated 150 new full-time residents downtown to buy and dine each day, making a minimal estimated improve of $3.3 million yearly in native authorities property, hospitality and lodging taxes whereas sustaining the essence and character that has lengthy outlined Aiken.”
Aiken City Council unanimously passed, 7-0, on first reading an ordinance to convey part of Newberry Street during its March 28 meeting.
Currently, the project’s architects are not doing any more drawings until the Newberry Street matter comes to a resolution, J. David Jameson, a commission member and president and CEO of the Aiken Chamber of Commerce, said during the meeting.
The resolution reads that the commission recommends Aiken City Council to have the second reading of its ordinance to convey part of Newberry Street during its April 25 meeting.
“In so doing, the council will enable the planning and engineering and due diligence associated to the mission to maneuver forward unimpeded by uncertainty,” based on the decision.
The Newberry Street pageant heart adjustments would “place a premium on a safe and comfortable pedestrian-focused esplanade akin to a central square for the City of Aiken,” based on the decision.
“The additional landscaping and public green space will provide ample space for outdoor dining, activities, events and gathering of all types, and will extend the pedestrian experience so successfully created when The Alley was closed to traffic in 2017,” reads the discharge. “The reimagined Festival Center would accommodate both pedestrians and vehicles well due to proposed modifications to the traffic flow on the block.”
The Aiken Chamber of Commerce board of administrators voted Monday to endorse transferring ahead with the mission.
“The Aiken Chamber has been advocating for Aiken’s ‘cool issue’ for the reason that Blue Ribbon panel report was issued in 2013 and once more in 2017 with the Compelling Place to Live Report,” stated Chamber Chairman Norm Dunagan. “Both reports returned with recommendations to recruit more retail in the downtown area, provide more housing in the downtown footprint and to create areas that entice citizens to gather, mix and make connections. A community’s economic vitality is key to its quality of life, and this is a giant step in the right direction.”
The Aiken Corporation voted to endorse the Project Pascalis site plan and Newberry Street changes.
“The Board of Directors of the Aiken Corporation is pleased to offer its enthusiastic support for Project Pascalis,” stated board Chair Buzz Rich. “Creation of additional housing opportunities, retail space, and a new hotel is critical to the prosperity to our downtown. Further, the transformation of one lane of Newberry Street into a pedestrian promenade offering green space and a more user friendly festival area is an exciting addition to the project.”
There will be two public input sessions Wednesday, one at 11:30 a.m. and one at 5:30 p.m. for residents to voice their opinions and ask questions about Project Pascalis. The meetings will be held in City Council chambers at the old Municipal Building, at 214 Park Ave. S.W.
The format will embrace dialogue of Project Pascalis by the concerned builders.