First on 14: Henderson unveils downtown master plan

First on 14: Henderson unveils downtown master plan

HENDERSON, Ky. (WFIE) - The City of Henderson is looking toward the future. Development leaders unveiled their downtown master plan at the planning commission meeting on Tuesday night.

This document has been about a year and a half in the making. Over the last several months, organizers have collected data from hundreds of people in the community and used their input to put projects on the list.

Some of those ideas are already in the works.

A mural in downtown Henderson was completed in July and more may follow. Or, at least, it's what the community would like to see based on data collected for the downtown master plan.

“The housing authority, we talked with students in the school system, we talked to seniors at The Gathering Place,” Tourism Commission Director Abby Dixon recalled.

Murals and alley cleanups were top choices in the Landscape and Sense of Place category.

“What we found is there is a huge push for more arts experiences for our residents and visitors,” Dixon said.

This is one of five categories outlined in that newly finalized plan, which is a joint project by multiple entities like the Downtown Henderson Partnership and tourism leaders. They fed off projects listed in the 2015 Vision plan while focusing on downtown.

Other categories include Riverfront and Downtown Engagement, where a boutique hotel was a top interest.

“I do think we’re on the right track for that, and it’s more doable that a lot of folks may think,” Dixon added.

“Parking garage was the last thing that people really were concerned about,” Planning Commission Director Brian Bishop pointed out. “We really thought that would be higher on the list or, at least, I know I do.”

An event center led the Community Investment category.

An arts district with downtown theater was a top choice in the Community Viability category.

As for the Access and Mobility, Henderson already has a new bike-share program, so leaders will shift gears toward a new innovative creative sidewalks project, which should start taking shape in the spring.

“As good as it feels to have that document in place, it’ll feel really good when we see checkmarks next to every single project, and I do feel confident we have what it takes to get there,” Dixon smiled.

This plan includes the central business district, riverfront areas and into the gateway zone.

Organizers say they also wanted to help find a way to fund some of these projects with a TIF district being a possible solution.

Henderson's downtown master plan.
Henderson's downtown master plan. (Source: WFIE)

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