Downtown Visioning Plan-Watervliet, Michigan
Centrally located at the crossroads of busy M-140 and Red Arrow highways and near Interstate 94, Watervliet is like many small Midwest towns with a good but neglected urban downtown. The Wightman team led the charge to transform this sleepy downtown place into the heart of the community lifestyle. The team worked closely with the City's Downtown Development Authority, municipal leaders, business and building owners, and community stakeholders to inspire them to reach their potential as a wonderful place where the Watervliet culture is celebrated.
The DDA engaged Wightman to kick-start the reimagining of what the downtown corridor could be. A Steering Committee was established to creation a vision and guide the process. A series of themes were identified to aid in the creation of goals and set boundaries for future conversations. The goal is to make Watervliet a destination people love, a place to grow and where people can connect.
The visioning project includes urban planning, place design, and streetscape amenities. Community outreach was held through three different workshops with area stakeholders including city government, business owners, and residents. Wightman staff also facilitated a successful Park(ing) Day, an annual event where traditional parking spaces are transformed into temporary mini parks or areas of respite.
Wightman created a growth plan; provided streetscape options; outlined rebranding guildelines; developed short-, mid-, and long-term goals; and supported the stakeholders throughout the process. The City of Watervliet now has a plan in place to bring their vision to reality.