jamestown urban design plan - Gebbie Foundation

jamestown urban design plan - Gebbie Foundation

JAMESTOWN URBAN DESIGN PLAN VOLUME I—SHAPING OUR DOWNTOWN’S FUTURE PREPARED FOR THE CITY OF JAMESTOWN, NEW YORK AUGUST 2006 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS CITY ...

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JAMESTOWN URBAN DESIGN PLAN VOLUME I—SHAPING OUR DOWNTOWN’S FUTURE

PREPARED FOR THE CITY OF JAMESTOWN, NEW YORK AUGUST 2006

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

CITY OF JAMESTOWN SAMUEL TERESI, MAYOR JAMESTOWN CITY COUNCIL

> > > > > > > > >

Lynda B. Albert A. John Calamunci Anthony J. Dolce Kimberly A. Ecklund James F. McElrath Dr. Lillian V. Ney Stephen Szwejbka Michael Taylor James J. Ventura

JAMESTOWN URBAN DESIGN STEERING COMMITTEE

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Lyman Buck, Community Foundation Steve Centi, Department of Development Walter Haase, Board of Public Utilities Lee Harkness, Downtown Jamestown Development Corporation Jon Merino, Gebbie Foundation Lillian Ney, City Council Greg Rabb, Planning Commission William Rice, Department of Development Randy Sweeney, Community Foundation Samuel Teresi, Mayor Kristy Zabrodsky, Community Foundation

JAMESTOWN PLANNING COMMISSION

> > > > > >

Greg Rabb, Chairperson Jeff Nelson, Vice-Chairperson Paul Andalora Jeff Lehman Jim Olson Martha Zenns

STATE OF NEW YORK >

DEPARTMENT OF STATE

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

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STATE OFFICE OF PARKS, RECREATION & HISTORIC PRESERVATION

FUNDING CITY OF JAMESTOWN DIVISION OF COASTAL RESOURCES AND THE NEW YORK STATE QUALITY COMMUNITIES COMMUNITY CENTER REVITALIZATION COMMITTEE THE CHAUTAUQUA REGION COMMUNITY FOUNDATION THE GEBBIE FOUNDATION THE LENNA FOUNDATION

JAMESTOWN URBAN DESIGN TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE COMMITTEE

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Al Cala, Department of Public Works Victoria James, Youth Services Department William Johnston, Fire Department Jennifer Harkness, Downtown Jamestown Development Corporation Jeff Lehman, Department of Public Works Greg Lindquist, Department of Development Sally Martinez, Empire Zone Tony Purpura, Parks Department Larry Scalise, Department of Development Barry Swanson, Police Department William Wright, Jr., Board of Public Utilities

PLANNING CONSULTANT TEAM PLANNING AND URBAN DESIGN

GOODY CLANCY REAL ESTATE MARKET ANALYSIS

ZHA, INC WATERFRONT SPECIALISTS

THE WATERFRONT CENTER TRANSPORTATION ENGINEERING

BERGMANN ASSOCIATES

Many members of the Jamestown community contributed significant time and effort to creating this urban design plan. Their efforts directly shaped this plan, which sets out our vision for what downtown can become and how it can build greater economic vitality for the community and the region.

JAMESTOWN URBAN DESIGN PLAN

SHAPING OUR DOWNTOWN’S FUTURE

Volume I—Urban Design Plan INTRODUCTION

1

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Overview

2

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Planning Process

4

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How to Use the Plan Documents

5

JAMESTOWN TODAY

7

URBAN DESIGN PLAN

15

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Riverfront

20

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Downtown Core

28

IMPLEMENTATION

49

Volume II—Design Guidelines APPEARS AS A SEPARATE DOCUMENT

1

INTRODUCTION

Jamestown Urban Design Plan | 1

INTRODUCTION

T

OVERVIEW his plan outlines a vision for renewing downtown Jamestown, identifies the actions needed to accomplish the vision, and defines the roles and responsibilities of the institutions and people who can make it happen. It grew out of an extraordinarily collaborative effort involving city government, business and community leaders, foundations, downtown businesses and city residents. A strong and healthy downtown is increasingly recognized as a key contributor to community identity and economic success. Regions with strong and appealing urban centers can better attract private investment, encourage new businesses formation and support residential growth. The vision outlined here paints a picture of what downtown Jamestown could be and what it must become if it is to serve as the economic, social and environmental catalyst that the region needs. The plan combines interrelated initiatives designed to be undertaken in phases over several years. The challenges Jamestown faces in addressing downtown’s significant problems have been extensively documented in prior planning efforts. As is the case in similar communities across the nation, its retail base has declined over three decades in the face of competition from regional malls and newer retail offerings. Yet, unlike many downtowns that

2 | Jamestown Urban Design Plan

are rebounding after years of decline, the continued economic weakness of the regional economy—reflected in a declining population and loss of manufacturing employment—poses special challenges. These problems have received widespread attention, but downtown’s notable successes and resiliency have received less public recognition. From the opening of the Reg Lenna Civic Center in 1990, to establishment of the Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena, downtown has incorporated new activities and uses. Other notable successes include the founding of the Robert Jackson Center, several ongoing efforts related to Lucille Ball, proposals to establish a Children’s Museum, and the recently completed transformation of a former Ames store into the Riverwalk Medical Complex.

In order to succeed, downtown must continue to be reshaped—in ways that reflect national trends favoring expansion of cultural, educational, recreational, entertainment, and residential uses and waterfront renewal—and to tap specific regional opportunities and growth trends associated with expanded tourism. Its success will also depend on continued strength as an office and employment center.

Reg Lenna Civic Center

Robert Jackson Center

Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena

The Chadakoin River opens to a large and underutilized basin near the Board of Public Utilities facility. The basin offers substantial opportunities for waterfront recreation that can bring new life to the city’s core.

NORTH

Moving beyond today’s challenges and creating a critical mass of activities that reestablishes downtown as a vibrant urban center and a beacon for regional investment and economic growth will require robust efforts to advance three important and interrelated initiatives. ‘City Life’ on Third Street has grown with numerous new programmed events by DJDC and the opening of a few new retail stores, yet the downtown retail base remains weak.

• Tap the power of the river. Transform the underutilized Chadakoin riverfront into a regional visitor destination and community resource, complementing the other tourism destinations around Lake Chautauqua. • Bring new life to the historic core. Strengthen the downtown core by introducing new residential and commercial development, streetscape improvements and maintaining current programming.

• Make design excellence a priority in new development. Promote higher design standards for new development, ensuring that downtown initiatives will be compatible with Jamestown’s character and architectural heritage and will complement each other. Turning the vision described in this plan into a reality will require the financial support of committed partners at the state and federal levels to invest in the infrastructure and projects essential to creating an economically sustainable downtown for the region. But with this support, and with the full commitment of the diverse partners who came together to create the plan, Jamestown stands ready to capture the opportunity.

Jamestown Urban Design Plan | 3

PLANNING PROCESS The year-long planning process that produced the Urban Design Plan contained several phases: • Phase I: A week of intensive community dialogue and discussion launched the process. The consultant team conducted an initial round of public meetings, open houses, downtown walks, and presentations to gain insight into community goals and concerns. This week-long event began with a presentation to City Council and meetings with an ad hoc steering committee. Individuals and small groups with an interest in downtown’s future took parT in more than 50 initial informational interviews. Participants included elected leaders, residents—including young people— professional staff of city and regional agencies, foundation representatives, educators, businesses, developers, arts organizations, and others. • Phase II: The process moved into economic, market and site analysis and assessment. Based on the initial community dialogue, the consultant team commenced a round of research that documented conditions and trends within the area, examining economics, markets, and physical environment. The team reviewed its initial findings with the Jamestown community in public meetings held in September 2005. • Phase III: The team conducted a riverfront assessment. The team held a series of meeting— including a public forum in November 2005— that were structured to look at opportunities for using the riverfront as both community amenity

4 | Jamestown Urban Design Plan

and economic catalyst. Anne Breen—codirector of the Waterfront Center in Washington, DC, and an internationally recognized expert in waterfront renewal—demonstrated how communities like Jamestown have developed their own plans to enhance the waterfront. • Phase IV: The team worked with the public to draft and revise the urban design plan. In three additional public meetings, participants reviewed the emerging plan, reviewed design options presented by the consultant team, and collaboratively decided how best to move forward. Built with the community, this plan reflects the broad public input that informed every stage of the process. Following completion of the draft plan, its recommendations were presented at a series of public events in June 2006, including a community meeting and presentations to the City Council, Planning Commission, foundations, the city’s strategic planning committee, the BPU board, Rotary Club, and others.

On downtown walks, the planning team gathered input from multiple participants and gained an understanding of how various aspects of the area work and contribute to its vitality.

The community learned about and helped refine the urban design analysis and design options in a series of open houses and workshops. Workshop topics included the waterfront, downtown, and transportation and pedestrian safety.

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Discussing Design Guidelines & Transportation Improvements

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����������������� ������������ at the fourth Urban Design Summit where we will provide an overview of urban design plan the present draft the design guidelines for the downtown and waterfront. David Spillane and Geoffrey Morrison-Logan (from Goody Clancy) will provide the overview. Following their presentation, Frank Dolan (from Bergmann Associates) will provide an overview of the transportation objectives and initiatives. The presentations will be followed by a discussion period. Mark your calendar, the Urban Design Summit will be held during the evening from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Robert H. Jackson Center. The presentation will be held in the auditorium. We want your help. Whether you’re a business owner, resident, or just a fan of the riverfront and downtown, we invite you to bring family, friends and colleagues on January 25th to the Robert H. Jackson Center, on 305 East Fourth Street, Jamestown, NY 14701. Make a reservation by January 23rd (below), and refreshments are on us! Your participation is important! Please let us know if you can join us on the 25th (so that we can accommodate everyone). Contact Bill Rice by the end of the day on January 25th at [email protected]

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Discussing the Vision for Jamestown’s Future ������������������������������������������ ������������������

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Design Summit on Tuesday, ������������������������������������������������������������� December 6th, from 6:00 p.m. ��������������������������������������������������������������������� to 8:30 p.m. at the Robert H. Jackson Center. The ������������������������������������������������������������ ������������������������������������������������������������� presentation will be held in the auditorium. ������������������������������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������������������������� We want your help. Whether you’re a business ����������������������������������������������������������� owner, resident, or just a fan of the riverfront and ��������������������������������������������������������� downtown, we invite you to bring family, friends and ���������������������������������������������������������� colleagues on December 6th to the Robert H. Jackson ������������������������������������������������������������ Center, on 305 East Fourth Street, Jamestown, NY ������������������������������������������������������

14701. Make a reservation by December 2 (below), and refreshments are on us! Your participation is important! Please let us know if you can join us on the

6th (so that we can accommodate everyone). Contact ������������������������������������������������������������� Bill Rice by the end of the day on December 2 at

[email protected] ������������������������������������������������������������ �������������������������������������������������������������

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To launch the process, the consultant team met with the City Council, conducted interviews, and held meetings over a two-day period to gain insight into community goals and concerns.

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at the third Urban Design Summit where we will discuss the proposed vision for the downtown and waterfront. Geoffrey Morrison-Logan (from Goody Clancy) will pro provide an overview of the recommendations of the Urban Design Plan. The presentation will be followed by a discussion period.

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Widely distributed flyers publicized dates and agendas for key community events.

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KEY FACTORS FOR DOWNTOWN’S ECONOMIC SUCCESS The formula for downtown’s economic success is simple: it must attract more people to live, work, and play downtown; and it must offer them a great experience in a lively, attractive, and cohesive urban environment. Every downtown initiative should contribute to accomplishing one or more key goals that will lead to success: ✔ Draw more regional visitors and tourists

downtown to experience the riverfront, cultural and educational attractions, restaurants, businesses and other amenities. ✔ Attract more people to live downtown—

building an increased base of support for downtown businesses, restaurants, and other retail uses. ✔ Enhance downtown’s identity as an

appealing urban environment. The design of every individual element—from a sign to a large development or streetscape improvement—should contribute to this urban experience. ✔ Strengthen connections between each

of the parts of the downtown to create a more cohesive place whose parts create a stronger and more unified whole. ✔ Reinvent the riverfront as a compelling

public destination for residents and visitors alike—the hook that draws people downtown. Establish a well-connected riverfront as an integral part of the downtown experience.

HOW TO USE THE PLAN DOCUMENTS This plan is made up of two closely related documents. Although written for different audiences, they complement and reinforce each other. Volume 1, The Urban Design Plan, establishes the physical vision for downtown. It is intended to serve as a guide to help the City and residents think about and move forward on the intertwined issues of growth, redevelopment, and revitalization. A few points are key to understanding how the Urban Design Plan works: • As projects are designed they may not look exactly like the images in the document, but they should address the intent of the plan. The sketches and descriptions here provide a broad sense of how particular projects will function within the larger downtown system and give a sense of their intended character. • The plan identifies key priorities for implementation that will help direct resources, as they become available, to the projects that will have the most impact on downtown. • The document will be useful for discussions with funding agencies—from both the public and the private sectors—providing both a detailed statement of the community’s vision, and laying out a practical set of steps for achieving that vision. Volume II, Jamestown Design Guidelines, represents a more technical document. City departments will be able to use it in discussions

with owners who anticipate changes in their properties. In such cases, the document will guide renovations and expansions in ways that contribute to making a more lively and appealing downtown. Similarly, city departments will be able to turn to the guidelines for direction in the design of public works projects, from repaving a street to redesigning sidewalks to improving traffic patterns.

Jamestown Urban Design Plan | 5

6 | Jamestown Urban Design Plan

2

JAMESTOWN TODAY

Jamestown Urban Design Plan | 7

JAMESTOWN TODAY REGIONAL ECONOMIC CONTEXT

W

ith approximately 30,000 people, Jamestown is the largest population center in Chautauqua County, New York’s western-most county. The County borders Lake Erie to the north, Cattaraugus County to the east, Warren County, Pennsylvania, to the south and Erie County, Pennsylvania, to the west. Chautauqua County is one of three counties that make up New York state’s Southern Tier West Region (the other counties are Cattaraugus and Allegany). As the data in this section demonstrate, the Southern Tier West Region’s economy has consistently underperformed when compared to New York and the nation. A downtown development strategy must take into account the regional economy. Successful development strategies respond to economic realities in order to create realistic expectations and early results. The economic and market assessment described here represents a summary overview of the analysis undertaken by the planning team’s economic consultant, ZHA. The complete document, which serves as an underpinning for the Jamestown urban design plan, is available separately.

8 | Jamestown Urban Design Plan

Population Comparisons, 1990–2005 1990

Jamestown Allegany County Cattaraugus County Chautauqua County Southern Tier West Region New York State United States

2000

2005

1990–2000

2000–2005

34,689

31,730

30,261

(2,959) -9%

(1,469) -5%

50,470 84,234 141,845 276,549

49k,927 83,955 139,750 273,632

50,801 83,266 136,803 270,870

(543) (279) (2,095) (2,917)

874 (689) (2,947) (2,762)

17,990,405

18,976,457

19,282,162

9876,052 5%

305,705 2%

248,709,873

281,421,906

295,140,073

32,712,033 13%

13,718,167 5%

-1% 0% -1% -1%

2% -1% -2% -1%

sources: Claritas and ZHA, Inc

Downtown Jamestown’s development strategy must respond to regional economic conditions: • The regional economy is in distress. As documented in a number of publications, the Southern Tier West Region’s poor economic performance reflects the slow transformation from an economy based on manufacturing to one based on service provision. An underperforming regional economy creates challenges for downtown revitalization. Rather than devising strategies for capturing a share of regional growth in order to benefit from it, economic developers in a distressed economy must look in two seemingly opposing directions: > within the regional economy, to determine whether underserved niches exist that a downtown might effectively serve; or > well outside the regional economy, to identify

economic opportunities that have not yet manifested themselves locally but which can be seen as logical extensions or expansions of existing activities. • Tourism is a powerful regional industry. Overall, tourism contributed more than $39 billion to New York state’s economy in 2000, and cultural and heritage organizations were major contributors to that figure. Tourism is a major economic driver for Chautauqua County, generating net new tax revenue, sustaining the second-home property market, and supporting a large proportion of area employment. According to the Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau, the county’s tourism industry employed 6,187 persons in 2001. From 1998 to 2001, the county’s tourism sector payroll increased from $62,458,081 to $67,114,048.

Jamestown’s tourism employment grew at twice the rate of its total employment from 1964 to 2001. Nationwide, the tourism industry employed about 4% of private-sector workers. By comparison, with its proximity to the Chautauqua Institution, Jamestown’s tourism employment represented 5.8% of total private-sector employment. Despite the presence of a number of attractions in and around Jamestown, downtown does not appear to be seen as an integral part of the recreation visitor’s vacation itinerary—either for summer lakeside or for winter skiing activities. Downtown can benefit from initiatives that penetrate this lucrative market. • Its size and location situate Jamestown well to capitalize on near-term market opportunities. With healthy highway connections to the rest of Chautauqua County, the City of Jamestown and Median Household Income Comparisons, 1990–2005 1990

2000

Jamestown

$20,582

$25,977

Allegany County Cattaraugus County Chautauqua County Southern Tier West Region

$24,171 $23,435 $24,178 $23,943

$32,251 $33,501 $33,524 $33,293

New York State

$32,965

$43,689

United States

$30,055

$42,307

ANALYSIS

Jamestown Attractions and Visitor Totals ANNUAL ATTENDANCE

ATTRACTION

Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena Fenton History Center—Museum & Library Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History Lucy-Desi Museum CCC Weeks Gallery James Prendergast Library Association, Art Gallery

400,000 21,755 21,000 17,262 8,500 5,599

sources: Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena website; The Official Museum Directory, 2003; The Lucy-Desi Museum, Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau; jamestownvisitation/visitation

its downtown sit at the heart of the Southern Tier West Region. Strong psychological ties to the downtown as the “center” of culture and business remain among regional residents, making downtown a logical location for regional attractions. Chautauqua Lake, the region’s premiere tourist destination, can be reached easily from downtown by car or by the Chadakoin River. Nearly the entire lake lies within a 45-minute drive of Jamestown. The downtown’s central location and proximity 2005 1990–00 2000–05 to existing tour$27,672 2.4% 1.3% ist destinations make it a logi$36,160 2.9% 2.3% $38,043 3.6% 2.6% cal location for $37,204 3.3% 2.1% a tourist attrac$37,273 3.4% 2.3% tion. $49,027 $47,723

2.9%

2.3%

3.5%

2.4%

Market analysis informs the planning process by identifying short-term development opportunities. This tool is typically employed by the private sector to test whether there is sufficient opportunity in a given trade area to warrant investment. The time horizon for a market analysis is relatively short—five to ten years. The consultant team performed analyses of the retail, restaurant, and residential markets to determine the character and magnitude of short-term development opportunities. Downtown’s competitive position with regard to a hotel, a tourist attraction, and office space is also discussed. The analyses yielded several conclusions: • The market can support the development of 150 new housing units. • The market may support storefront infill by specialty retailers, but it will likely not support new shopping-oriented retail development downtown without significant economic changes. • While a slight opportunity may exist for another full-service restaurant, the relative strength of competitive locations and downtown’s weak demographics make it unlikely that a chain restaurant franchise will enter the downtown market within the next five years.

MARKET

sources: Claritas and ZHA, Inc

Jamestown Urban Design Plan | 9

Jamestown and the region • Downtown is a competitive location for a new limited-service hotel. • The Brooklyn Square area of downtown is an excellent location for a regional attraction, particularly if the Chadakoin River evolves into a recreational amenity and the two are integrated. • Downtown is a competitive location for regional office space.

Chautauqua Institution: This summertime cultural destination draws visitors from across the country.

Chautauqua Lake draws seasonal tourists and redevelopment efforts should focus on ways to bring these tourists into downtown.

With active programming and accessible waterfront, Bemus Point is an example of how to create a waterfront destination. The urban design plan should find ways to activate the Jamestown riverfront with new programs and improved access.

The Chadakoin River connects Jamestown to Chautauqua Lake. This connection could play a significant role in putting Jamestown “on the map” for regional residents and tourists. Jamestown is the largest and most significant urban center in Chatauqua County. Its urbanity can be leveraged to attract new investment.

10 | Jamestown Urban Design Plan

1 study area

ROBERT H. JACKSON CENTER

P

HOLIDAY INN HOTEL

PRENDERGAST LIBRARY

LUCI–DESI MUSEUM

BEST WESTERN HOTEL

WEST END JAMESTOWN SAVINGS BANK ICE ARENA FORMER TRAIN STATION

DOWNTOWN CORE

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REG LENNA CIVIC CENTER

CITY HALL HIGH SCHOOL

THE ARTS CENTER/ DAVID POULIN

LUCILLE BALL P THEATRE LITTLE OF JAMESTOWN

RIVERWALK MEDICAL CENTER BPU POWER PLANT

BROOKLYN SQUARE

NORTH

Jamestown Urban Design Plan | 11

URBAN DESIGN ANALYSIS

Left, Main Street: Attractive older buildings provide the foundation for Jamestown’s appeal. Below, the Lucy-Desi Museum is an important downtown attraction.

The city’s downtown incorporates a rich mix of structures and public spaces that reflect Jamestown’s evolution as a community. Every era of the city’s development finds reflection in the civic, commercial, industrial, institutional, recreational, and residential buildings that form downtown’s core and edges. Any successful vision for downtown must build on these and other strengths while addressing weakness that prevent the area from reaching its full potential.

STRENGTHS Jamestown’s strengths represent important building blocks for the plan. Any revitalization effort will need to incorporate ongoing and focused effort to preserve and enhance these strengths. Attractive older buildings

• Attractive older commercial buildings form a physical testament to the different eras of Jamestown’s development as a center of community life, commerce, industry, government and the arts. Large downtown employment base

Government and nonprofit institutions are key sources of downtown employment.

12 | Jamestown Urban Design Plan

• Despite a decline in retail activity, Jamestown has retained much of its strength as an employment center for government, business and nonprofit enterprises.

Multiple arts and recreation facilities

• Downtown is home to numerous performance spaces and several active arts and cultural programs, including the Reg Lenna Civic Center, the Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena, the Lucille Ball Little Theatre, the Fenton Historic Society, the Robert H. Jackson Center, the Prendergast Library, the Arts Council for Chautauqua County and many more. Broad commitment to downtown revitalization from all sectors

• Every sector of the Jamestown community has participated directly in the development of this plan and has made significant recent contributions to the downtown area. Strong regional tourism market

• Chautauqua County’s cultural and historical attractions—the lake, the Chautauqua Institution, Bemus Point—have built a strong tourism market. Jamestown’s geography and potential attractions situate it ideally to take advantage of this market. WEAKNESSES These weaknesses represent near-term challenges to establishing a fully successful downtown, but, once addressed they can also point toward significant opportunities for shaping a vibrant center.

Underutilized and isolated riverfront

• The riverfront is an untapped resource. Downtowns across the country are using waterfront renewal as a catalyst for attracting residents regionally and drawing tourists. By contrast, the Chadakoin riverfront is inaccessible, unwelcoming, and underutilized. • The river serves as a barrier rather than a connector between residential neighborhoods and downtown; it also acts as a barrier between the significant new activity in Brooklyn Square and downtown. • The riverfont is not understood to be an extension of Chautauqua Lake into the city. Riverside pedestrian connections to the lake do not exist, and boat access is constrained by water depth. Kayaking and canoeing are possible, but such use is rare and has not been strongly promoted. • Land uses along the riverfront represent a crazy quilt of industrial uses, abandoned rail yards, and other activities that cut the river off from the community, limit its attractiveness as an amenity, and undercut efforts to attract the private investment typical of successful riverfront revitalization efforts.

tional development is needed to finish the job by attracting more activity that then spills over into the rest of downtown. Redevelopment of the surface parking lot, and the railroad station represent critical steps to tapping the potential of this area. • The West End is defined visually by the unsightly parking lot that degrades its identity and that of the downtown as a whole. A near-term solution is needed to this problem either through full development of the area or interim design improvements that transform the area’s poor image.

Planned redevelopment of the former Erie Railroad station by DJDC can bring new life to the West End and reconnect downtown to the river.

Lack of vitality on Third and Main

• These key pedestrian thoroughfares define the identify of downtown. They lack a critical mass of activity, variety of uses, and concentration of activity that characterize the most successful main streets, morning, noon, and night; weekdays and weekends; in all seasons. Instead, Third and Main harbor many “dead” spaces, interspersed with areas of activity. • Sidewalks, street trees, and street furniture vary in quality and character; some areas are very appealing, but the overall goal of creating an attractive district remains unfulfilled.

A crazy quilt of industrial uses, abandoned rail yards, and other activities have cut off the Chadakoin riverfront from downtown.

Uncompleted West End renewal effort

• The West End remains a work in progress and remains isolated from the rest of downtown and the riverfront. While the opening of the Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena represents a significant success story for the city, addi-

Underutilized buildings, especially along First and Second streets

• Isolated between the rail line and Third Street, these streets house a significant amount of underutilized office and industrial space.

Jamestown Urban Design Plan | 13

Incompatible new development

Unattractive gateway areas

• Downtown’s attractiveness is diminished by some newer development, the design of which ignored Jamestown’s character and architectural heritage.

• First impressions matter. Several important arrival points—or gateways—into downtown don’t represent Jamestown in the best light. Even modest improvements in these locations could meaningfully improve the overall identity of downtown.

Limited street-level visibility of downtown arts and cultural activities

• Downtown houses a very significant number of arts, cultural and entertainment facilities, yet little of this activity is evident on the street to the casual visitor. As a consequence, visitors may not feel encouraged to participate in the active arts and recreation activities downtown. In fact, they may not understand such opportunities exist at all.

Confusing downtown circulation patterns

• Vehicular circulation patterns makes it hard to get around downtown. Multiple one-way streets unnecessarily complicate movement, and key pedestrian crossings are hard to negotiate.

Limited downtown housing

• Downtown includes only a small amount of housing, primarily subsidized units for seniors on fixed budgets. Nationally, market-rate residential development has been one of the most potent forces in bringing new life and spending power back to downtowns, supporting the success of stores, restaurants, and arts and recreation destinations. Empty nesters and young professionals represent groups that have been particularly attracted to downtown lifestyles.

Chautauqua Lake draws seasonal tourists. The urban design plan should find ways to bring these tourists to downtown.

14 | Jamestown Urban Design Plan

3

URBAN DESIGN PLAN

THE URBAN DESIGN PLAN

B

Making Jamestown the vibrant urban center of the region

y preserving the best from its past, addressing current challenges, and capturing emerging opportunities, downtown Jamestown can establish itself as a vibrant and attractive urban center for the region. The benefits of an attractive, vital, and physically cohesive downtown extend well beyond the boundaries of Jamestown itself, enhancing the attractiveness of the entire region as a center of business, tourism, and as a place to live. No single action by itself can restore downtown’s vitality. Such a transformation can only grow out of multiple coordinated activities over time, and only a combination of public- and private-sector investment can preserve downtown’s strength as an employment center, while enhancing its appeal to regional residents and visitors. This change will not occur overnight, but in phases over several years. This plan provides a guiding framework that will ensure that individual initiatives advanced by public, private and nonprofit entities complement each other and reflect an overarching vision for downtown’s future. Significant near-term actions—and investment—will be needed to build on the recent community successes that have stemmed disinvestment and decline.

16 | Jamestown Urban Design Plan

This plan embodies a vision of a downtown that is the region’s great urban setting—a place to live, work, and play. It rests on three fundamental initiatives: 1 Transform the Chadakoin riverfront into a regional waterfront destination by developing new public open spaces on the river’s banks; introducing water-related activities and events; creating a destination-tourism attraction; building enhanced public access and new connections to the lake; and encouraging residential development. 2 Strengthen the downtown core through a combination of new development, streetscape improvements and programming. Promote new residential development, create an arts-andheritage trail, complete the West End redevelopment initiative, build connections to the riverfront, improve the design of downtown gateways, and improve traffic and circulation. 3 Adopt and promote higher design standards for new development to ensure compatibility with Jamestown’s character and architectural heritage. Standards will ensure that even modest and incremental changes downtown are in harmony with the community’s vision and contribute to creating a more vital and cohesive place. (The design guidelines appear in Volume II of this document.)

The Chadakoin River today

The vibrant waterfront along Montreal’s Lachine Canal is a compelling mix of industrial structures and new public destinations and open spaces.

Swan boats attract families and visitors to Boston’s Public Garden, bringing the area to life.

2 illustrative plan COMPLETE THE PLAN FOR THE WEST END so that the district becomes a setting for new commercial, cultural, and recreational uses.

MAKE GETTING AROUND EASIER— Simplify traffic flow within the downtown core to promote access and support walkability. Seek conversions of one-way streets (like Fourth) into two-way thoroughfares.

CREATE A NEW DOWNTOWN VISITOR DESTINATION along the river.

THIRD AND MAIN— Make these streets the region’s best urban places.

CELEBRATE JAMESTOWN’S HERITAGE AND ITS VITAL ARTS AND CULTURAL COMMUNITY by developing a downtown trail.

SECOND & FIRST— Incorporate housing and other uses in underutilized buildings and forge new connections to the river.

P

P

P

P

CONNECT DOWNTOWN TO THE LAKE along the Chadakoin River.

MAKE GATEWAYS AND ARRIVAL POINTS WELCOMING — Beautify gateway areas with new landscaping, signage, and infill development to create a unique arrival experience from the surrounding areas.

TAP THE POWER OF THE WATERFRONT — Transform an underutilized and abandoned riverfront into a great new setting for recreation, tourism, and waterfront living.

NORTH

Jamestown Urban Design Plan | 17

LAND USE PLAN Figure 3 provides an overview of the types of uses that are encouraged in each of the major segments of downtown to advance this vision. Mixed-use with active groundfloor uses: Multistory structures with ground-floor retail or comparable publicly accessible uses should be required in this area.

3 encouraged uses

Waterfront residential/ mixed-use/open space Mixed uses with active uses on ground floor Commercial & residential Residential character

Commercial and residential uses: Commercial and residential development are encouraged; ground-floor retail may be included where feasible.

Locations for new downtown attractions/activity generators

Waterfront residential/mixeduse/open space: Uses that benefit from or enliven the waterfront are encouraged; public access should be provided along the water’s edge. Residential character: Where commercial uses are allowed in these areas, every effort should be made to retain the residential character of buildings. NORTH

18 | Jamestown Urban Design Plan

Study area boundary

MAKE DOWNTOWN A VISITOR DESTINATION Tourism represents a significant growth sector for the region. Downtown’s current attractions can appeal to regional visitors but do not collectively establish downtown Jamestown as a “must see” destination for regional visitors. Accomplishing this goal will require the creation of a major tourism destination within downtown with the ability to attract up to 200,000 visitors annually. Such a visitor destination would both enhance the visibility and success of other downtown destinations and add a new component to the region’s appeal as a tourism destination.

The downtown riverfront is a logical location for such a facility, with its potential to incorporate outdoor activities, parking, and linkages along the river to other tourism and recreational locations. Any feasibility study should also examine alternative locations within the heart of downtown. Such a facility should be conceived as providing the initial motivation for new visitors to come to Jamestown and then feeding them into downtown to patronize other businesses and attractions. Such an attraction could also be expected to serve as a catalyst for further business development, including hotels, new restaurants, and new residential development within downtown.

Any proposed destination attraction must be designed to be compatible with and enhance existing and planned downtown attractions. This approach will require a more detailed analysis and feasibility assessment than the scope of the current study allows. The specifics of the program and the financial strategy for developing such a destination will need further definition, but a wide range of programs—both for-profit and nonprofit—appears feasible. The community should expect, however, that establishing such a facility will require initial public or philanthropic funding.

Jamestown Urban Design Plan | 19

RIVERFRONT The Chadakoin Riverfront can be a regional destination.

I

n a region known for great waterfront destinations, Jamestown is not yet on the map. Visitors flock to attractions around the lake, including the Chautauqua Institution and Bemus Point, but Jamestown has not yet tapped the potential of the Chadakoin to serve as a major destination for residents and visitors. Drawing more people to the riverfront would raise the profile of other downtown attractions, setting up an opportunity to enhance downtown and strengthen the region’s appeal as a tourism destination. Communities across the country are transforming underutilized industrial waterfronts into new settings for cultural activities, community recreation, tourism, and residential development (see “How Would It Look?” boxes on this and subsequent pages).

FROM RIVERWALK TO RIVERPARK Over the last year Jamestown has successfully implemented the initial stage of a riverwalk along the Chadakoin River. This represents an important first step in tapping the potential of the river. But transforming an attractive project into an important economic catalyst for the region will require several additional, ambitious and interrelated steps:

20 | Jamestown Urban Design Plan

Connect the river to the lake.

• The long-term goal must be to connect the river and the lake so seamlessly that the lakefront extends into the heart of downtown. Boaters should be able to travel along the river and dock near Main Street. This ambitious goal represents a long-term vision; many questions about feasibility will need to be addressed, not least determining the amount and depth of dredging needed to open safe downtown access for a variety of vessels. Create a new Chadakoin River Basin (Main Street to BPU).

• Creation of the New Chadakoin Riverfront Basin as a significant destination and gathering place represents a major near-term opportunity. • Wide, highly visible, and potentially accessible from many areas, the location provides a significant opportunity to create downtown’s signature waterfront destination—directly connected to Main and Washington streets, other areas of downtown and surrounding neighborhoods. • Redevelopment of the edges of this area should include high-quality public walkways along the water’s edge combined with new open spaces that serve as public gathering places, a significant tourism attraction, and supporting residential and commercial development. • Public access will be needed all along the water’s edge. The basin can be used to host festivals and special events, and more regularly available activities may include canoe, kayak, or paddle boat rentals.

HOW WOULD IT LOOK? MANY U.S. CITIES have invested significant sums in their

waterfronts to offer new attractions and amenities for residents and tourists. These efforts are frequently accompanied by initiatives designed to encourage new economic development that ultimately helps revitalize of both downtowns and waterfronts. These photos show how Richmond, Virginia, has transformed a waterfront in a setting similar to the Chadokoin riverfront in downtown Jamestown. To be a regional destination, the riverfront will need appealing design that delights community residents and regional tourists alike. Future phases should incorporate high-quality materials, pedestrian-scaled lighting, and places for people and numerous access points all along the river.

The riverfront should include active places for kids, such as interactive fountains and artwork. ALL IMAGES: RICHMOND, VIRGINIA

• Incorporate a fountain or a water playground with programmed fountains. • BPU’s expansion to the south of the basin can support the plan directly. BPU has been an enthusiastic supporter of the planning process, and it will to coordinate the preparation for its expansion with the vision outlined in this plan. • Planned repair/replacement of the Washington Street Bridge will provide an opportunity to implement part of this vision. Design of the bridge should include a staircase that connects it to the riverfront. The underside of the bridge should remain generally open and free of obstructions on the north side of the river. • Public investment in this area will be needed to secure control of key land parcels, undertake design and development of public walkways and open spaces along the water’s edge. • Creation of the basin will enhance the redevelopment potential of several parcels at its edges. Create new neighborhood connections.

• Explore opportunities to provide better pedestrian connections to neighborhoods and downtown, including new pedestrian bridges at key locations. Establish a riverfront tourism attraction.

• The riverfront is the best location for a tourism attraction that could serve as a magnet for visitors to downtown Jamestown. This facility must be of

sufficient scale to serve as a major draw, attracting at least 100,000–200,000 visitors annually, significantly more than other attractions within the area. Attraction visitors could be drawn into the heart of downtown, visiting other existing and planned attractions, stores and restaurants. The best location for such an attraction would be the Blackstone property. Additional analysis will be needed to determine a precise program for such an attraction, assess its financial feasibility, evaluate potential sites, and determine what type of facility would most benefit Jamestown. Potential uses include museums, other culturally focused facilities, and commercial uses such as a carousel or water park. Continue to develop a continuous Riverwalk.

• The city is committed to development of a riverwalk linking downtown to McCrea’s Landing and the lake, but only a portion of this network has been completed so far. Ongoing efforts involve obtaining commitments from landowners to allow public access and securing funds for building the walkways. The walk would comprise riverside walkways at least 12 feet wide and in time will become an increasingly important public and recreational amenity as access points from neighborhoods increase and new sections are completed. The Riverwalk’s ultimate success will depend on establishing it as an amenity that enhances the attractiveness of development along the river.

HOW WOULD IT LOOK? The Chadakoin River needs pedestrian connections to downtown and its surrounding neighborhoods that celebrate the waterfront while providing day-to-day access for employees, residents and visitors. Year-round programming should offer events and activities both on the water and along the river’s banks.

The riverwalk should ultimately connect to McCraes Point, accentuating the natural settings and environments between downtown and points north. ALL IMAGES: RICHMOND, VIRGINIA

Jamestown Urban Design Plan | 21

4 riverfront Transforming the downtown waterfront 25 et

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potential development existing development target areas for redevelopment existing riverwalk future riverwalk

The riverfront could include a new waterside performance space.

22 | Jamestown Urban Design Plan

The near- and medium-term goal is to transform the downtown waterfront into a vital public destination. The longer-term goal is to forge connections between this new destination and the lake.

5 the chadakoin A series of great waterfront places 29 1

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Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena

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Restored train station

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Major waterfront attraction—Brings families, downtown employees, and regional tourists to the riverfront and is the heart of the Riverwalk park system

3

New “West End” development

4

Reused mill building on Washington—active ground-floor uses and access to river

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North bank Riverwalk park

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South bank Riverwalk park

Surface parking along the rail lines and future rail excursion

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New coal-unloading building and pedestrian bridge from the train station—provides access from the West End to the river

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Existing Arcade Building

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El Greco site (potential new housing and arts uses)

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New waterfront and public event/performance area

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New access between north and south banks via a new pedestrian bridge

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Expanded Riverwalk Park with small-boat dock and canoe/kayak launch

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New access to Riverwalk via the existing rail underpass

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New connection to the “Island Park”

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New “in-town” housing can be accommodated on many sites in downtown

10

Landscaping improvements for Island Park

25

The Second Street area is a prime location for new housing

11a

BPU future expansion (multiple phases)

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South bank landscaping

Continued enhancements—including streetscape improvements and programmed activities—make Third Street the region’s urban “Main Street”

12

Watersheet activities—boats, canoes, pontoons, etc.

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New south bank “Basin Park”—connecting Jamestown’s southern neighborhoods to the waterfront

Streetscape improvements on Third Street should extend east to the high school and enhance the visual qualities of the existing park, thus becoming the eastern “gateway” to downtown

Resurfaced Washington Street bridge—widened sidewalks, new lighting and viewing platforms to river

28

14

Fourth Street is converted to two-way traffic and has angled parking for downtown shoppers, workers, and visitors

29

Future development should fill in vacant sites and surface parking lots to “build out” the downtown core and create new destinations on 3rd Street

30

Coal chute linking rail line to BPU facility

15

Iconic new interpretive stair tower—connects downtown to the river and creates a new landmark for Jamestown

FIELD OF VIEW IN AERIAL

Jamestown Urban Design Plan | 23

Advance redevelopment of key riverfront parcels.

• Development along the riverfront should incorporate a mix of uses, with a particular focus on housing, entertainment uses, tourism facilities, and open space. Efforts to enhance the riverfront and improve public access should improve prospects for development of nearby properties. The city should play an active role in ensuring that key properties are developed appropriately. Establish new controls on riverfront land use.

• Major parcels along the Chadakoin—including several owned by the railroad and zoned for industrial use—are either vacant or underutilized. The City has begun discussions with the railroad to secure a long-term agreement on management of a transition from these uses to residential, commercial, and recreational activities more consistent with the community vision. This process is likely to take some time (see Volume 2, Jamestown Design Guidelines, for specific recommendations on design of new development along the waterfront). Coordinate with BPU expansion.

• BPU represents an important community institution with significant investment along the

24 | Jamestown Urban Design Plan

riverfront. BPU is drawing up expansion plans for its facilities along the river and has contributed directly to the process of shaping the plan. Continued coordination with the agency will be essential to creating and implementing a nearterm plan for the New Chadakoin River Basin that creatively combines an active industrial facility with public destinations and new green space.

HOW WOULD IT LOOK?

Set up a public/private entity dedicated to implementing the vision.

• Riverfront transformation on the scale anticipated here can take decades to complete, extending through many economic cycles and political administrations—local, state and federal. Nationally, many of the most successful transformations have come about thanks to a public/private partnership with a focused mission and a view to the long term. Jamestown will need to establish such an organization— headed by an individual who will champion this effort-—to provide continuity and to sustain momentum for transforming the Chadakoin riverfront.

There are many opportunities to interpret the history of the Chadakoin River. Many other cities have been successful at celebrating their history by placing interpretive signage and artwork at key places along the waterfront. Well designed and informative signage is a key ingredient to making a waterfront appealing to visitors. Signage for Jamestown’s riverfront should include maps and explain social, cultural, and political history.

Power generation on the riverfront represents a fascinating story for Jamestown to tell on its riverfront. As BPU expands its facilities over the next few years, the basin should capitalize on this rare opportunity to celebrate its modern history and this unique activity. The story of Jamestown’s ‘powerful’ waterfront is a key part of the larger riverfront story and should be coordinated with BPU.

6 waterfront power A celebration of the industrial past River view from Washington Street Bridge

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New coal-unloading building and pedestrian bridge from the train station—provide access from the West End to the river

Watersheet activities—including boats, canoes, kayaks, paddle boats, model boating, floating art, and pontoons

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Resurfaced Washington Street bridge— widened sidewalks, new lighting and viewing platforms to river

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Iconic new interpretive stair tower— connects downtown to the river and creates a new landmark for Jamestown

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Re-use opportunities for rail yards—short term/open space; long term/a unique waterfront development site Expanded Riverwalk Park—used for performances, festivals, and events

VIEWPOINT OF PERSPECTIVE

Jamestown Urban Design Plan | 25

7A

Celebrate the rich industrial history of the riverfront and connect the West End

BPU to the West End: Framing the river with new uses and connections B

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Future BPU expansion South bank Riverwalk Park Chadakoin River North bank Riverwalk Park Waterfront development opportunity Coal unloading building (BPU) Rail improvements—future platform and rail excursions

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key plan B A

26 | Jamestown Urban Design Plan

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Connect the arts programs and East Third Street to the river

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and arts) First Street Existing cable company building New housing on Second Street Second Street streetscape improvements 11 Existing Spring Street shops 7 8 9 10

12 Third Street at Reg Lenna Civic Center 13 Parking ramp on Third A Existing smokestack at El Greco site B Potential residential and arts development C New pedestrian bridge extends Pine Street to river

D Bridge under rail lines provides pedestrian access to river E Potential river “overlook” F Abandoned rail line could serve as upper Riverwalk G New bridge over the river connects north and south banks H Stair tower

Jamestown Urban Design Plan | 27

DOWNTOWN CORE New approaches and development can inject new life.

D

owntown’s core has many strengths: generally attractive, it houses a large workforce in services and government, strong arts and recreational uses, and a modest but varied mix of entertainment and dining venues. Retail activity is limited, reflecting a customer base too small to support a more substantial retail and entertainment presence. Despite this relatively weak business climate, strong community commitment has supported a wide and varied range of programmed activities downtown. Jamestown’s success in that area was recognized by the National Main Street Center at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which made the community a semifinalist in the center’s national awards program, a significant achievement. For downtown to thrive and grow will require coordinated efforts to broaden a customer base by promoting downtown living and attracting regional tourists to supplement the business generated by residents and workers. Several interrelated initiatives can contribute to achieving this goal: • Complete the plan for the West End so that it become a setting for new commercial, cultural, and recreational uses and associated parking. • Establish Third and Main as the region’s premier main streets. Make them the region’s best urban places and use them to reconnect downtown and the West End.

28 | Jamestown Urban Design Plan

• Celebrate Jamestown’s heritage and its vital arts and cultural community through development of a downtown arts-and-heritage trail. • Make downtown living work. Attract new residential development to all areas of downtown, creating new vitality and providing an enhanced market for downtown business • Renew Second and First streets. Find new uses for underutilized buildings and make new connections to the river. • Create welcoming gateways and arrival points. • Make it easier to get around.

Downtown’s mix of attractive buildings, streetscapes, and open spaces contributes to its appeal—but downtown must attract new residents and businesses to fulfill its considerable potential.

P

HOLIDAY INN HOTEL PRENDERGAST LIBRARY

P

LUCI–DESI MUSEUM

REG LENNA CIVIC CENTER BEST WESTERN HOTEL

DOWNTOWN CORE

WEST END

THE ARTS CENTER

LUCILLE BALL LITTLE THEATRE OF JAMESTOWN

JAMESTOWN SAVINGS BANK ICE ARENA

CITY HALL

P

FORMER TRAIN STATION

RIVERWALK MEDICAL CENTER

BROOKLYN SQUARE NORTH

Jamestown Urban Design Plan | 29

WEST END DEVELOPMENT COMPLETE THE PLAN FOR THE WEST END The Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena, developed by the Gebbie Foundation, represents the largest single development project in downtown in 30 years. Recent development of the Best Western hotel and planned redevelopment of the former train station under the auspices of the Downtown Jamestown Development Corporation (with a visitors’ center, multimodal transportation facilities, and a farmers’ market) will bring new life and activity to the West End. Possible redevelopment of the last vacant parcel in this area—

Across from the ice arena and visible from Washington Street, this is the largest and best-located parcel in downtown. Development that combines stores, entertainment, a hotel, and offices represents the optimal mix of uses for the site and the area around it. The lot should be developed in conjunction with a linear public space along Third Street—an outdoor “public room”—that supports a variety of activities and preserves the ice arena’s visibility from Washington Street. Introducing this outdoor room at this location on Third Street will effectively tie the activities of the ice arena

30 | Jamestown Urban Design Plan

SHI

NG

3r

WA

d

ST .

While several elements of the West End’s redevelopment are complete— including the Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena and a new hotel—the unattractive parking lot at its center creates a negative image for the entire area and cuts the West End off from downtown.

publicly owned and now used for parking—presents a significant opportunity to reconnect the West End with the rest of downtown.

TO

N S T.

back into the fabric of downtown and represents a key component of the plan. The design of this signature public space within downtown should meet very high standards. Careful consideration of design will also play a critical role in making sure the site’s development succeed. Key considerations include: • incorporation of appropriate setbacks to ensure wide sidewalks along Washington and Third streets—establishing a minimum sidewalk width of 40 feet on the south side of Third Street between Washington and the ice arena; • incorporation of a small plaza/exterior eating area along Third Street; • inclusion of large areas of glass, building

POTENTIAL LOCATION FOR NEW PARKING STRUCTURE

1 THIRD STREET

IMPROVED PEDESTRIAN CROSSING, TRAFFIC CALMING, AND NEW LANDSCAPING/STREET TREES

PUBLIC “OUTDOOR ROOM”

1 REUSE OF VACANT COMMERCIAL BUILDING

ICE ARENA

3

2 FURNITURE MART

TRAIN STATION REDEVELOPMENT

REDEVELOPMENT OF BPU BUILDING

BRIDGE CONNECTION TO RIVERFRONT

New development will be set back to create a major civic space along 3rd Street

2 WASHINGTON STREET

3 LAFAYETTE STREET

A new public space on the south side of Third Street can provide space for events and outdoor eating. Washington Street can potentially be converted from four travel lanes to three, providing a better balance between pedestrian and vehicular needs.

Perpendicular parking will increase capacity and draw more activity to the West End.

Jamestown Urban Design Plan | 31

ICE ARENA

existing development

future parking garage

TH

IR

D

ST .

future development

TRAIN

Jamestown Square will be Third Street’s meeting place. The 40-foot-wide “outdoor room” will offer sidewalk dining, event space, and a view corridor to the ice arena rotunda.

entrances, active ground-floor uses along Third and Washington streets to ensure that this block effectively links the ice arena to the rest of downtown; • 3- to 5-story building heights; and • articulated building facades along Washington and Third streets. The City anticipates advancing this development through a publicly advertised request for proposals (RFP) process at an appropriate time. Full development of the area will require additional public parking to meet the needs of new development and other nearby uses. To this end, the City should consider construction of an appropriately located and sized public parking facility.

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WA

SHI

NG

TO

N S T.

Current market conditions are unlikely to support redevelopment of this parcel to its full potential prior to implementation of other downtown initiatives and development of appropriate public parking. Development should be delayed until a proposal can be secured that fully taps the site’s long-term potential. Until development can begin, significant interim improvements should be advanced to remove the negative image of the parcel, which affects all of downtown. An interim plan should include resurfacing and restriping of the lot, together with full implementation—if feasible—of the “outdoor room” on the south side of Third Street.

Reusing the Furniture Mart building will play a key role in bringing new life to the West End.

existing development future development future parking garage

TO

N

ST

.

ICE ARENA

A

SH

IN

G

TRAIN W

New development in the West End will support pedestrian activity at the street level by filling in sites with development that complements the surrounding area’s buildings in terms of height, scale and character.

FURNITURE MART

Jamestown Urban Design Plan | 33

FOCUS ON THIRD AND MAIN ESTABLISH THIRD AND MAIN AS THE REGION’S PREMIER MAIN STREETS Third and Main form the core of downtown, linking City Hall and the Reg Lenna Civic Center to the ice arena, and connecting the heart of downtown to Brooklyn Square and the river. While both streets are moderately attractive, neither serves as an inspiring example of what downtown could become. As centerpieces of downtown today, the character and condition of these streets shape perceptions of the entire area, so efforts to revitalize them should be given very high priority. An improved identity for these streets can be shaped by a series of steps, outlined below; additional issues are described on the plan drawing on the facing page. Draw up a streetscape plan

• An ambitious and comprehensive streetscape plan needs to be developed for Third and Main streets that establishes them as compelling public places. Recent improvements, such as new street lighting, must be incorporated in a more comprehensive plan that establishes a stronger landscape identity along Third Street, including public art and interpretive elements that tell Jamestown’s story. This plan should also explore opportunities to provide expanded outdoor seating areas and should incorporate consistent new and attractive signage that helps visitors and residents alike orient themselves

34 | Jamestown Urban Design Plan

within downtown. A plan may need to be implemented in phases based on funding availability, but a detailed design plan should be developed by a landscape architecture firm with extensive experience in developing effective and creative programs for downtown revitalization efforts. In particular, the firm should be able to demonstrate success in working with businesses on such plans. This effort should also consider opportunities for nighttime lighting of key downtown structures that underscore the importance of the two streets and showcase the attractiveness of their architecture. Target storefront improvements

• Main and Third Streets represent priority areas for targeting any available public funds or incentives for storefront improvements for exist-

ing or new businesses. The design guidelines in Volume II of this document provide guidance on specific improvements. Redevelop key sites

• The redevelopment of certain high visibility or underutilized sites—particularly storefronts— along these streets is especially critical to efforts to strengthen identity.

Outdoor eating could bring the street to life.

New development and gateway improvements can anchor this end of Third Street.

Completion of West End redevelopment will more strongly anchor one end of Third Street.

The Grants Building on the corner of Third and Washington streets will be a key element in any strategy to reconnect the West End and the core of downtown. Reuse of the building—originally purchased by the Gebbie Foundation as a location for the Lucy-Desi Museum—can bring this corner back to life. An interim use for the ground floor of this very visible structure should be considered until a timeframe for full redevelopment is established.

Jamestown Urban Design Plan | 35

HOUSING DOWNTOWN MAKE DOWNTOWN LIVING WORK Only limited residential development exists in downtown today, primarily subsidized housing for seniors and some rental properties. Yet downtown contains many of the same amenities that are drawing new residents—and new life—to resurgent city centers across the country. Attracting new residential development represents one of the most important strategies for securing downtown revitalization because it does so many things at the same time: • it provides a new use for underutilized downtown properties; • it expands the customer base for existing and potential businesses and cultural activities, increasing the probability of their success; and

New riverfront housing has brought former railyards to life along the Milwaukee riverfront.

• it adds a human presence downtown at all time periods, which builds new momentum for still more initiatives. Residential use is encouraged throughout downtown, but several locations represent particularly attractive opportunities for certain types of residential development. Potential downtown residents represent a diverse group—they are younger residents and empty-nesters, have an interest in ownership and rental housing, and report preferences for a range of building types, including townhouses, multifamily dwellings, and rehabilitated space in older structures. To be fully successful, a downtown housing strategy must seek to provide opportunities that meet all of these. It is sometimes assumed that downtown residential opportunities are limited to conversion of older structures, but such a strategy taps only a portion of the potential market. The market analysis undertaken as part of this study identified potential demand for as many as 150 units over five to seven years, divided this way: • 50–60 new small houses (1,000–1,500 SF) in a neighborhood setting; • 20 luxury condominiums in the core of downtown, either new townhouses or new/adaptivereuse lofts; • 20 new, market-rate townhouses for rent or sale; and • 50 new multifamily rental housing units.

Many structures along First and Second streets have excellent potential for conversion to housing or a mix of uses.

Figure 10 highlights specific areas of the downtown and the type of residential development that may be most feasible or attractive to future residents or developers in each of these locations. These include the following key opportunities: First Street

Opportunities along 1st Street include vacant warehouses on both sides of the street, and large vacant parcels on the south side of the street closest to the high school. Second Street

Numerous surface parking lots on 2nd street can be in-filled with housing. Riverfront

Many parcels along the banks of the Chadakoin River are well suited for redevelopment for housing.

36 | Jamestown Urban Design Plan

10 downtown housing ILLUSTRATIVE SCENARIO

TOWNHOUSES/SMALL SINGLE-FAMILY HOUSES (RIVERFRONT)

TOWNHOUSES (DOWNTOWN INFILL)

FUTURE TOWNHOUSE AND MULTIFAMILY DEVELOPMENT (RIVERFRONT)

LOFT HOUSING (FIRST & SECOND STREETS)

MULTIFAMILY HOUSING (NEW CONSTRUCTION ON FIRST STREET)

The new Riverwalk has already created an attractive setting for potential future housing development.

Key housing opportunity sites: Housing development is encouraged throughout downtown.

Jamestown Urban Design Plan | 37

Milwaukee’s Riverwalk has established an attractive setting for new housing development.

Other uses occupy some of these properties, but housing should receive top priority for these sites, as they are redeveloped over time. Opportunities for housing include all areas within Brooklyn Square that have frontage along the river. While nurturing the growth of downtown housing development on a significant scale represents an important ingredient of downtown’s future success, it is also important to recognize that barriers to the development of new residential development within the downtown are quite significant. Specific barriers include property taxes associated with residential development, limited availability of appropriate land, and concerns over potential environmental cleanup costs associated with some available properties. Public incentives including property tax abatements, disposition of appropriate public lands for residential development and

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Several riverfront sites have the potential to support housing development over time.

support through brownfields programs for site investigation and clean up will be needed to foster and build momentum for attracting market-rate residential development to the downtown. Property-tax abatements for 10 years are typically necessary to enable housing initiatives to move forward, but additional incentives may be needed to spur initial housing redevelopment. (See Chapter 4, Implementation).

ILLUSTRATIVE SCENARIO

First Street provides opportunities for adaptive reuse of existing structures and new residential construction. New development can fill “gaps” in the street and create a more pleasing environment.

Existing conditions on First Street.

ILLUSTRATIVE SCENARIO

Existing conditions on Second Street.

Several small infill sites on Second Street provide opportunities to develop new townhouses, bringing new life, activity, and an enhanced streetscape.

Jamestown Urban Design Plan | 39

CIRCULATION MAKE IT EASIER TO GET AROUND Downtown’s system of one-way streets has changed little over the last two decades and does not function effectively today. Several potential improvements, discussed over the course of developing this plan, provide a framework for further analysis. With grant funding from the State, the City will undertake a comprehensive technical evaluation of the circulation system downtown and identify specific improvements that support the vision outlined in this plan. Considerations will include: • conversion of one-way streets to two-way • intersection redesign • signal timing • lane allocations Additional key opportunities should also be considered, including: • conversion of Fourth Street from one-way to two-way travel; • conversion of Washington Street from four lanes to three, incorporating a center turning lane; • exploration of other one-way-to-two-way conversions; • consideration of traffic calming/reduction of paved area in key arrival points to downtown; and • increasing the sidewalk width on the Washington Street Bridge to enhance pedestrian safety/ experience.

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Conversion of Washington Street from four travel lanes to three would establish a better balance between pedestrian and vehicular needs.

Convert FOURTH STREET to two-way traffic.

Convert WASHINGTON STREET from four lanes to three.

NORTH

Widen sidewalks on the WASHINGTON STREET BRIDGE.

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SECOND AND FIRST STREETS RENEW SECOND AND FIRST STREETS Much of the most underutilized space in downtown Jamestown is located between Third Street and the Chadakoin River, primarily along First and Second streets. Reuse and redevelopment of key parcels along these streets could contribute significantly to expanding downtown as a setting for both residential, office, recreation and the arts. The rail corridor currently separates this area from the river and the emerging medical complex on the former Ames store site in Brooklyn Square. The area’s potential could be greatly enhanced by improving connections to the river and Brooklyn Square, which would help overcome its isolation from the rest of downtown. Such connections would significantly enhance the attractiveness

of the former industrial properties that line First Street, making them candidates for reuse as waterfront residential development—either through reuse of existing structures or new construction. Only relatively modest improvements are needed to create at least one new connection below the railroad tracks (between Spring Street and Stillers Alley, as shown in Figure 5), and additional connections are also possible at several additional locations between Main Street and the high school. Introduction of new riverfront connections in this area would not only enhance opportunities for redevelopment here but would also strengthen connection to the riverfront from many areas of downtown.

Underutilized properties along First Street could be recast as riverfront locations.

Potential opportunities for residential development in this area are described elsewhere in this document.

With redevelopment of the former Ames store as a riverfront medical complex and recent improvements in the Riverwalk, new linkages to the river could enhance the attractiveness of these properties.

Recent investments in the downtown Riverwalk have enhanced its attractiveness.

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Opportunities exist to connect property along First Street to the river (below the rail line).

SECOND AND FIRST STREETS

The Riverwalk in downtown Miami has created new pedestrian linkages to the Miami River.

Richmond, Virginia, has created pedestrian walkways that link to the waterfront below rail lines and roadways.

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GATEWAYS CREATE WELCOMING GATEWAYS AND ARRIVAL POINTS Jamestown has entry points to the downtown from the north, south, east and west. With roads such as Route 60/Washington Street and the Fifth/Sixth streets one-way pair that divert traffic from the core of downtown, it becomes increasingly important to advertise the fact that the downtown is a few short blocks from these “bypass” roads. The gateway areas (as shown in figure 11) are unique places at the edge of downtown that will benefit from the strategic placement of “gateway” features that identify them as significant entry points. Traffic and signage improvements should announce these points as entries to the region’s downtown. Even modest improvements—for example, adding landscaping, flowers, and “Welcome to Jamestown” signs—will make a big difference.

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ILLUSTRATIVE SCENARIO

11 gateways GATEWAY AREAS— Beautify gateways areas with new landscaping, signage and infill development to create an appealing arrival experience from surrounding areas.

NORTH

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ARTS & HERITAGE TRAIL CELEBRATE JAMESTOWN’S ARTS AND HERITAGE More than a dozen cultural and visual arts attractions make their homes in downtown Jamestown, offering a wonderful series of programs and resources to residents and visitors. While these resourses collectively represent a great downtown asset, their presence is not immediately apparent to the average visitor making a casual visit to downtown. Many cities of Jamestown’s size have worked actively with local organizations and attractions to find more effective ways of marketing them to the larger community. The introduction of a signage program (some examples appear on

Other cities have combined outdoor art and interpretive efforts to enliven public streetscapes.

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this page) coupled with a new “Jamestown’s Arts and Heritage Trail” will provide a marketing platform that can tie these assets together. A clearly identified walking trail within downtown—like the Freedom Trail in Boston—should physically connect these assets while telling the unique history of Jamestown. Figure 12 suggests the potential this opportunity holds by showing one possible route that would link these assets. This effort should be launched with the involvement of arts organizations, local historians, and the City to ensure that the trail is as rich an experience as possible and to maximize the marketing impact of the initiative. Ultimately, the goal is to strengthen these resources and introduce more activities downtown. The trail should create a lively and entertaining experience that appeals to a wide variety of people, including children and families.

Montreal’s waterfront celebrates the city’s iundustrial history.

12 arts & heritage trail Routing possibilities for a Jamestown Arts & Heritage Trail

1

Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena

2

“Jamestown Square”

3

Train Station

4

“River Basin” Park

5

“Waterfront Attraction”

6

The Lucy/Desi Museum

7

The Lucille Ball Little Theatre of Jamestown

8

The Reg Lenna Civic Center

9

The Arts Center

10

City Hall Plaza

11

The Robert H. Jackson Center

12

The James Prendergast Library

13

Sixth Street Park

13 11

12

10 6

8

9

2 7

1 3

5

4 Boston and other cities have made temporary arts programming a humorous and enjoyable part of the streetscape.

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4

IMPLEMENTATION

IMPLEMENTATION

T

his plan establishes a guiding framework for the physical development of downtown over the long term. Over the next several months the City of Jamestown, community residents and businesses, foundations, the Downtown Jamestown Development Corporation, BPU, and other stakeholders that participated in creation of the plan must work to develop a schedule and detailed strategy for advancing the plan within the framework of this document. This dialogue will include further discussion of these key issues: • Roles and responsibilities of each of the parties—for each element of the plan • Schedule, including identification of priority initiatives for the near, mid-, and longer terms • Funding strategy for advancing plan elements This chapter provides a guiding framework for these discussions. Formally adopt the plan.

The City Council, Planning Commission and other groups should formally adopt this plan in order to establish its significance as a guiding document for downtown development.

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Create an organization to implement the plan.

Formalize agreements between plan partners.

An organization with the mission and capacity to implement the plan will be necessary to ensure long-term consistency and continued commitment to advancing the plan over many years. The organization’s board should include the mayor, foundation representatives, and representatives of arts/culture organizations and downtown business interests. The executive director will be responsible for leveraging the resources and gaining the consensus necessary to implement the plan. This organization could be an existing entity, such as the Downtown Jamestown Development Corporation, with an expanded mission and additional capacity to enable it to take on this larger mission, or it could be an entirely new organization.

Over the course of this planning process, several of the parties have reached informal agreement about how they might contribute to implementing elements of the plan, or have established mutual agreements about certain initiatives. These informal understandings and commitments should be formalized.

Continue to strengthen relationships between city officials and the private/ nonprofit sector.

To be successful, the City, the private sector, and the nonprofit sector should continue to work together to advance the vision for downtown Jamestown. All entities should agree on a common goal to help bring about positive change. The roles of the various entities must be understood clearly, with their resources and constraints acknowledged. Successful revitalization depends on public/private/nonprofit partnership.

Develop a brownfields strategy.

Several of the parcels that have significant redevelopment potential may also require environmental remediation. The City should develop a strategy for identifying and securing state and federal funds for these parcels on a priority basis to assist with site investigation and remediation. Negotiate transfer agreement for Arts Council properties.

The Arts Council has signalled its interest in disposing of its downtown properties. The City should mobilize quickly to work with the Arts Council to facilitate the transfer of these properties for beneficial use. Develop a management program for downtown property.

The plan identifies potential locations for residential, restaurant, office, and hotel development. The next step will be to identify the specifics of

each site—parcel size, ownership, owner disposition requirements. The City will need to identify physically and functionally obsolete buildings and structures with limited adaptive re-use potential for potential demolition. The implementing organization should act as marketing agent to recruit investors for these properties. Assuming that the plan is adopted, the City should be prepared to marshall the resources needed to facilitate investment in these target parcels. Set the stage for marketing residential-development opportunities.

The market analysis identified demand for new housing in and around downtown, and the plan identified target sites. The implementation organization should be encouraged to obtain an option or options to buy a target property or group of properties. The City must develop additional property-tax incentives for new residential construction. Once options to buy properties and tax incentives are in place, developers can be solicited for residential development and they can exercise the options. Establish new property-tax incentives for new residential development.

New residential development downtown represents a critical ingredient for bringing new life and business activity to the area. Development costs alone, however, will drive the price for new residential construction above $150 per square

foot. Coupled with the high property-tax rate, this cost—well above the market—could stall new residential construction in the area. Only a reduction in property-tax rates will allow new housing to be competitive. The city already offers ten-year tax abatements for new ownership housing. The resale value of new housing will suffer as the date of disposition approaches the 10-year window. The City should consider an additional residential property-tax incentive program that considers land value only, not improvements. Under such a program, the City would lose no revenue when a property is redeveloped; the land value would be the purchase price. As housing increases in value, so should the land value. For example, if land represented 20% of market value, the tax obligation would rise in tandem with the market value. It is important to understand that the City will accrue less-direct but still measurable fiscal benefits: on average, more than half of a household’s income is spent on goods and services. New downtown households will contribute to economic revival downtown by increasing retail sales and stimulating job creation. Continue to build working relationships with state officials and create working partnerships needed to advance downtown development.

The implementation organization should strengthen the relationship between Jamestown and state officials, including the State Historic

Preservation Office (SHPO). Jamestown’s future revitalization will depend on the state’s commitment to supporting redevelopment efforts. Revitalization efforts will require state flexibility, where appropriate, with regard to regulations. Develop a local waterfront improvement program (LWRP)

The City should initiate a process to prepare a LWRP that incorporates the recommendations of this plan and addresses additional technical issues as required. Conducted in partnership with the State of New York’s Division of Coastal Resources, the process enables a municipality to build community consensus about the future of its waterfront and refines state waterfront policies to reflect local conditions and circumstances. Once approved by the New York Secretary of State, the local program serves to coordinate state and federal actions needed to assist the community in achieving its vision. State permitting, funding, and direct actions must be consistent with an approved LWRP. Within federally defined coastal areas, the activities of federal agencies must also conform to an approved local program. A LWRP presents a unified vision that increases a community’s chances of obtaining public and private funding for projects, including funds for both the development and implementation of an LWRP, which are available from the state Environmental Protection Fund, among other sources.

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Link Jamestown to the lake.

Economic development goals should include making Jamestown accessible to the lake by way of the river. Such access could transform the value of the river and, in turn, the role and function of downtown Jamestown in the regional economy. As opportunities arise, Jamestown should work to remove barriers to Lake Chautauqua. Planning toward this goal can be advanced through preparation of an LWRP. Identify a riverfront “champion.”

Many of the most successful riverfront revitalization efforts have succeeded because of the commitment of an individual or group of individuals to championing the cause over a long time period and in the face of many obstacles. Identifying such a champion for the riverfront is an important step toward advancing this effort. Develop a vision and strategy for introducing a regional attraction in Jamestown.

The implementation organization must explore the opportunities for a regional attraction in Jamestown. As a first step, the state’s posture toward this idea needs to be understood. If there is potential, the implementation entity must identify an attraction that takes best advantage of Jamestown’s strengths while being attractive to regional visitors.

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IMPLEMENTATION: STEP BY STEP

W

ork on all of the plan recommendations should begin immediately. Some tasks can be completed in a few months, but the more ambitious initiatives will require much longer time frames. Work on the longer-range efforts should nevertheless start now; in order for them to succeed, citizens, businesses, and public officials will need to lay a strong foundation for eventual completion. These checklists organize the recommendations by anticipated time frames. Those under “First steps” can be wrapped up within the next 12 months. A second “Midterm focus” group will require more time— up to three years in most cases. The set of “Longer-term focus” efforts will require patient and persistent work over five years and beyond—but they will also produce the most dramatic payoffs for downtown’s revitalization.

FIRST STEPS • Formally adopt the urban design plan. > In addition to City Council and other bodies, seek formal support from a wide variety of local and regional groups. • Create/designate an organization to implement the plan. > Iron out the details of how this will work and identify who will do what and when they will do it. • Finalize plan documents and get them printed in large enough quantities to distribute widely—this is a planning document and a sales document. • Create a communications strategy and treat every activity as linked to the plan. • Hold a “celebration” to launch implementation of the plan—September 2006. > Announce specific implementation commitments. > Identify what’s going to happen over the next year. • Commit to a public event in 2007 to review progress, announce achievements, and roll out plans for subsequent years.

• Seek external recognition for the success of the work. Submit the plan to competitions and win an award. Then advance it as Jamestown’s “award-winning plan.” This can help with implementation. • Talk about the plan regionally in planning/development circles; build awareness. • Continue to strengthen the relationship between city officials and private/nonprofit entities. • Formalize agreements between plan partners. • Continue to build working relationships with state officials and create working partnerships needed to advance downtown development. • Communicate directly with property owners in areas where the plan anticipates new/different development—explain what the plan means and what it does not mean and look for win-win opportunities. • Secure public/nonprofit control of key parcels.

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MID-TERM FOCUS

LONGER-TERM FOCUS

• Focus on implementing improvements in the core of downtown. Target things that can get done in two to three years: > West End parking area > Train station > Arts & Heritage Trail > Conduct a traffic analysis. > Establish property-tax incentives for new residential development. > Negotiate a transfer agreement for Arts Council properties. > Develop a management program for downtown property. > Set the stage for marketing residential development opportunities.

• Transform the downtown riverfront and reconnect the city to the lake, making substantial progress over the next five years. Near-term actions for accomplishing this mission include advocacy and planning of riverfront renewal as a regional attraction: > Secure control of key parcels. > Identify a riverfront “champion.” > Develop a vision and strategy for introducing a regional attraction to Jamestown. > Draw up a local waterfront development program (LWRP). > Secure funding for public improvements. > Work with BPU to advance its expansion plan. > Work with the railroad to secure long-term control of multiple parcels. > Develop a brownfields strategy that prioritizes key waterfront parcels.

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