Tuesday, November 10, 2009

CRA Plan Update

The CRA last year commissioned a team to update the CRA master plan, incorporating many of the already existing plans (Gindroz plan, Belmont Devilliers plan). On this Thursday, Nov 12, at 5:30 at City Hall, they will be presenting the new plan. I hope you will be able to attend and see what the new plan is.

I have received an advanced copy of the plan, and I think it looks pretty great. It aims our downtown toward the future while maintaining our historic character. In some ways it is a summary of a philosophy for the direction of the downtown to help guide public and private improvements. While the CRA is going to be short on funds for the next several years with the maritime park, there are many ways the CRA and the private sector can work together to build our downtown.

I will work hard to make sure this is not another plan on the shelf. I appreciate that it has particular targeted improvements with approximate costs so we can work to include them in the budget. And it can be a spark for how we can all think about developing the many vacant sites in the CRA, both the public properties and the private. While there is a need to wait until the market is stronger for some of the development, we can still push forward many of the elements of the plan.

I hope you can attend the event on Thursday. I am sure that the plan will be posted online as the process progresses, and I will share a link. I welcome your thoughts on the plan--we need to all contribute to steering the direction of the focal point of our city, making it the city we all know it can be.