TRAVERSE CITY – With the approval of the long-awaited Lower Boardman River Unified Plan, the Traverse City Downtown Development Authority is considering the next step in the process.
The DDA Board of Directors is expected to hire a consultant at its monthly meeting Friday morning to develop a conceptual design for a river walk and pedestrian plaza in the 100 Block Front Street East driveway as well as additional work on block 200.
The DDA Board issued a Request for Proposals in November 2021 for the design and engineering plan for the two blocks. Five proposals were submitted and three firms were interviewed by a committee.
The full DDA board is expected to hire Inform Studio for $315,000 for the conceptual design of the project. DDA CEO Jean Derenzy said the plans to redesign the two blocks along the Boardman River come because a “sewer relocation project (scheduled for this fall) presents the DDA with an opportunity to ‘examine how and to what extent these improvements can be implemented,’ according to his memo in the agenda for the meeting.
The design work will also provide the necessary costs for the project.
“We are moving forward to get the conceptual design for blocks 100 and 200,” Derenzy said Wednesday morning. “The plan has been approved, but we’re still going to have to do all the schematic designs and public outreach.”
The DDA Board of Directors in another proposed project is also expected to support the application of an $80,000 grant through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Enterprise Development Program specifically for the establishment of a downtown retail incubator.
“We are still working to identify where the location will be,” Derenzy said. “Having a grant and being able to move forward will benefit us.”
Several special presentations are scheduled for Friday, including:
- The half-yearly information report to the community
- DDA Audited Annual Financial Statements for the Year Ending June 30, 2021
- Overview of the bridge construction scheduled for 2022
- TART Trail Planning Conceptual Design Overview along Grandview Parkway from Division Street to Garfield Avenue
City Engineer Tim Lodge has a PowerPoint presentation on the planned construction of the bridge in 2022, including the completion of the ongoing West Front Street Bridge project and planned work on the North Cass Street and South Union Street.
Derenzy said it will affect business throughout the year.
“We need to understand when this is happening as well as the impact and hear from our retailers about how we are improving access to downtown,” she said. “Logistics are extremely important.”
Friday’s meeting in the Commission Chambers at the Government Center begins at 8:30 a.m.