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Downtown master plan, re-mastered

Downtown Durham, Inc. has announced it is launching a process to review the Downtown Durham Master Plan, which was adopted by city/county government in 2000.  DDI has re-hired Development Concepts, Inc. of Indianapolis to coordinate the process.

Why revisit the plan?  As Bill Kalkhof of DDI points out:

By the end of 2008, within downtown’s very small geographic area (.751 square mile or 12 x14 block area), projects completed, those currently under development, and those in the planning stages, will result in private investment that is projected to be $600 million. These include such significant projects as American Tobacco and West Village.
Public sector projects completed, and planned, will amount to approximately $300 million of investment by 2012. These include parking decks, the new Theater, the streetscape improvements, and the new Courthouse and Human Services Center.

The Plan was intended to be a living document that evolves with the changes and opportunities in Durham. Today, the Plan no longer fully accounts for the current physical landscape of downtown, current market trends, or the new constituents who have come to downtown in the last six years.

The process will include a web-based survey on the DDI web site, along with two Saturday planning charettes open to the public.  More info as it becomes available.

Incidentally, if you'd like a birds-eye view of Durham's downtown evolution as tracked by Yonah Freemark, check out this post at UrbanPlanet for a fascinating map tracking what's changing on the downtown landscape.  Yonah's a Hillside High grad who's now an undergrad at Yale, and he's the author of Durham: Urban Renewal's Legacy, a fantastic web site and must-read for anyone interested in how downtown came to be (and how Durham leaders let it fall into decay in the name of "progress.")


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