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Ideas for downtown South Boston sought at meeting

SoVaNow.com / August 12, 2013




South Boston’s Downtown Master Plan and ongoing efforts to save the John Randolph Hotel will be the focus of a public meeting today beginning at 6 p.m. at Town Council Chambers.

The meeting will provide citizens with an overview of a proposed development plan for downtown, including steps to meet the economic and physical improvement needs of the commercial district. The meeting also will inform the public of the potential for future activities under the Master Plan Study.

According to Tamyra Vest, Community Development Coordinator, the need for a Downtown Master Plan arose with the feasibility study that was done for the John Randolph Hotel project.

The town is working with a potential developer to restore the empty John Randolph building as a downtown boutique hotel. For the effort to be successful, Vest said, the community needs to seriously consider and develop a plan that will revitalize the downtown area and provide it with a welcoming entrance.

Vest cited the need for improvements to the bridge at the southern end of the town, saying “currently it is a wide, blank horizontal, two dimensional blur of mediocrity … but what an incredible opportunity for a gateway if we widened the walkways, changed the paving of the walkways and driving surface, and lined both sides with new decorative lighting and hung colorful, informative impact banners from the new light poles.”

She notes that a master plan for downtown will envision and evaluate similar ideas for improving the district.

”No single project will magically change the economic and social viability of the downtown, but a concentrated effort to design and enhance the big picture is crucial and possible,” Vest said.

“In order for the hotel project to be successful, we need to establish the ability to sustain travelers beyond an initial one night stay and have them wanting to return to a restored and expanded John Randolph Hotel.”

Council Chambers, the site of the meeting, are located at 502 Yancey Street, South Boston.





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