Bowling Green developers talk downtown improvements
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - City developers held their annual Downtown Meet Up at Ridley Roasthouse Wednesday afternoon to discuss upcoming changes and developments to the city’s hub.
“We’ve launched an entertainment district, we’ve launched a destination website, we’ve created Fountain Square shop and dine guides, the entire fountain roadmap, a public parking map for the first time ever,” said Telia Butler, Downtown Development Coordinator for the city. “There’s so much more coming from this but getting all the people who were within the neighborhood talking is step one, and that’s what we’re trying to do with all this right now.”
Among the meeting’s topics were new businesses coming to the square, including The Dusty Boot Honky Tonk Bar, a branch of the One Love Hemp dispensaries, the 30Bird Healthy Eatery and a holistic tea bar.
When it came to what businesses to bring in, Butler said it wasn’t about bringing in specific store fronts but rather adding to the city’s social sphere.
“If we can build an environment and build a place that attracts the kind of places that you would leave town for, then you wouldn’t have to leave town as much,” Butler said. “You’re more apt to stay in Bowling Green longer, live here longer, start a family, start a business here. We really are more about that environment creation than necessarily targeting.”
Also discussed at the meeting were the results of a June 23 traffic study; when Concert in the Square was being held, a show was being done at SKyPAC, a game was being played at the ballpark and residents were enjoying downtown.
“We wanted to look at it from the standpoint of downtown as an ecosystem, there are a lot of different events and things going on,” said the city’s Neighborhood Services Coordinator Karen Foley. “How can we make this space, this ecosystem, friendlier and more user friendly for everyone who’s coming down for whatever reason they’re coming?”
Overall, officials say the study showed a need for more signage downtown and a few hot congestion points, though it may be a while before work begins on solutions.
“I think it’s also important to note that this was just one survey of one evening, I think this is a practice that we could look forward to doing again, in other ways,” Foley said. “This is sort of a starting point of just looking at something with intention, with a desire to have better coordination, to come up with some easy solutions, and then kind of use that as a building platform to move forward.”
The next Downtown Meet Up will be August 9 at the Lisa Rice library and will be open to the public.
To keep up to date on downtown happenings, visit the Downtown BGKY website.
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