“The area is envisioned to be an entertainment hub with restaurants, outdoor cafes, patios, gathering spaces, etc.,” the plan states.
MILTON — The Riverfront Redevelopment Team has recommended a new downtown development to the Community Redevelopment Agency and the CRA has referred the item to the city council for consideration.
The RRT serves as an advisory board for the CRA, which comprises city council members. The team's role is to come up with ideas for community redevelopment and present them to the CRA. Recently, the RRT has recommended developing an area referred to as the Blackwater Quarter, which is a component of the Riverfront Master Plan.
The master plan describes the Blackwater Quarter as buildings fronting the Riverwalk on both sides of Caroline Street; they are proposed to be redeveloped with active uses facing the river.
“The area is envisioned to be an entertainment hub with restaurants, outdoor cafes, patios, gathering spaces, etc.,” the plan states. “The existing park behind the buildings is transformed into active public space while being designed to accommodate service vehicles.”
According to the plan, balconies at the rear of the buildings will provide upper-level restaurant and dining space overlooking the Blackwater River. The implementation effort does have challenges, however.
The RRT presented two maps to the council that detailed the 100-year and 500-year flood plains, soils and utility locations. The RRT also offered an artist’s rendering of the Blackwater Quarter from the Riverfront Master Plan. According to the plan, replacement and/or relocation of some utility lines will likely be involved.
The council has asked city staffers to explore costs, timing, concerns and opportunities with the project. The staff is still researching options and will present them to the council when all of the information is determined.
The council will discuss the Blackwater Quarter project during the Sept. 21 Committee of the Whole meeting.