Imagine Downtown is the visionary plan to guide future public and private investment in the heart of Midland. Formulated by the Vandergriff Architecture Group in conjunction with the City of Midland, the Midland Development Corp., Downtown Midland Inc. and the Midland Municipal Management District, Imagine Midland is a visionary exercise to give image to future physical growth in Downtown Midland.
The Vision for the Future of Downtown Midland Includes
- Pedestrian-First Appeal – Rethinking how Downtown should work with the perspective on the pedestrian. This involves a rescaping of the Downtown area with focus on the pedestrian rather than the vehicle.
- Public Space – Public Space should be open and inviting and not just residual space left over from privatized development. We need to rethink how citizens including office users can use downtown for personal enjoyment and recreation.
- Public Parking – To sustain a successful Downtown we must have an easily accessible parking component.
- Boulevards and Widened Walkways – Rethink current car dominated street designs to make walkways more pedestrian friendly by widening sidewalks, creating boulevards and implementing other pedestrian units of design.
- Market Central – Downtown Midland is an excellent space for high density retail opportunities of all scales.
- Protect the Skyline – As the Tall City we should think of tall buildings as a collective asset rather than individual liabilities and capitalize on their usage.
- Signature Structure – Creating a Signature Structure that is centrally located will give Downtown Midland a definite Image and be a pilgrimage to Downtown.
Here are examples of possibilities for the Future of Downtown prepared by the Vandergriff Group:
The City of Midland adopted a plan for Downtown redevelopment in 2005 prepared by HNTB, the Vandergriff Group, and the Leland Group. The recommendations stressed the need for public and private entities to work together to promote the reuse of existing buildings, to improve the pedestrian environment with amenities such as streetscape furniture and way-finding signage, and to generate After-Five activity with new residential and retail opportunities and improved public space/parks.
From that plan came specific projects that the City has adopted and begun to implement. In 2008, the Wall Street Redevelopment Project proceeded with widening of sidewalks, adding brick pavers, and installing street trees, new light fixtures and street signs between Big Spring Street and Front Street. In 2009, the City plans to break ground on the renovation of Centennial Plaza. Click below to see views of Centennial Plaza as it stands today and a rendering of the plans for its look in the future.