More housing takes top priority at Downtown Visioning Charrette
Great Falls Tribune USA TODAY NETWORK
On Wednesday night, community members and leaders met in the Civic Center for the Downtown Visioning Charrette hosted by the Great Falls Development Authority (GFDA). After approximately an hour of brainstorming, the vision for more housing in Downtown Great Falls was shown to be a priority.
President of the GFDA Brett Doney said the reason for the forum was not to push anyone out out downtown, but trying to add to the area.
The meeting focused on three main blocks or sites: 1 The site between park drive and 2nd St.
2 The parking lot next to Worldwide Press on 1st Ave South 3 The group of buildings between 5th Street and 6th Street south The GFDA team brought up its four main points of action: organization, promotion, design and economic vitality. They also had three development strategies: be unique, activate street life and consider comprehensive vision.
The idea for the vision session was to take into consideration the historic buildings and reflecting and respecting the current downtown to bring it back to what it used to be.
The session was broken up into three groups. There were easels set up in three spots for the groups to discuss and write down ideas for what people wanted to see downtown.
“We’re trying to focus on adding excitement to downtown,” Doney said.
When the top ideas of each group were presented to the entire room, more housing was one of the top priorities on each of the groups’ lists, whether it was multi-use housing, family housing, modern housing or just more living spaces available as a whole.
Other ideas included a music and entertainment venue, area for food trucks, revitalizing the hotels downtown, grocery stores/co-op space, fresh, healthier food and groceries and covered outdoor spaces that can be used in all seasons.
There will be another session to follow to present some designs for the top ideas chosen at the visioning charrette. The unofficial date for the next session is Thursday, Nov. 21.
If you weren’t able to make the session and you had ideas you’d like to share, contact the GFDA by email, text or stop by the office at 405 3rd Street NW Suite 203.
Central Avenue, and downtown Great Falls from the US Bank rooftop, in 2011. RION SANDERS, GREAT FALLS TRIBUNE