Plans Unveiled for New Downtown Gateway Initiative
Following an in-depth process, plans have been unveiled for a dramatic approach to a Downtown Gateway redevelopment for a block along Main Street between Cherry and Oak.
During the end of the summer of 2009, the Andrews Valley Initiative secured the services of Architect, Terry Meek, AIA in order to study the potential for creating a gateway initiative at the East end of the historic district of downtown. Mr. Meek collaborated with Andrew Campbell, a summer landscape intern with NC State University, provided by the North Carolina Department of Commerce, Division of Community Assistance.
The design process addressed several critical components which are symbiotic and which form the critical mass necessary for a successful downtown revitalization initiative. The project, which encompasses both sides of Main Street in the block between Oak and Cherry, envisions multiple uses which can be phased such that one creates the demand for the other. With AVI's branding vision for Andrews, as the "Living Laboratory for Sustainable Agriculture", the design was built around utilizing the non-typical downtown front building setbacks to create raised demonstration beds which could present traditional agricultural practices as well as native flora and a boutique vineyard. Coupled with this open space would be the introduction of water features reflecting the importance of the Valley River to the Town and surrounding farms.
Moving from the open space, the project is envisioned to consist of five basic components. The first would be a mixed use building which may include some "live/work" space and downtown residential units - either condominiums or rental. A second component would be a "facelift" and reconfiguration of site features for the existing RBC Bank. At the present, it is understood that the Town is considering moving the Town Hall, administrative offices, and Police department to a new location located at the West end of Main Street near the Town Limits. Should this occur, in lieu of demolition of the existing Town Hall, it is considered that this structure would be renovated to serve as a museum of the history of the agriculture within the region along with an interactive exhibit for educational purposes. This adaptive re-use of the Town Hall would preserve the fašade of this historic building. Another component would be the development of a wine tasting café to be positioned on the property where the current service station sits. This would be seen as a support use for cultural tourism, as well as another downtown option for the people of Andrews. The last component would be the development of a hotel and parking garage located on the property where the Town police department and parking lot is positioned. This last component is expected only to be viable when all of the other components of the Gateway Initiative are complete.
As with any master plan, it is only a framework for growth. It is not a static document, but is dynamic - expectant of change - yet grounded in the flexibility to adjust as conditions demand.
Talks have begun with the Town and affected property owners, and it is anticipated that the beginnings of implementation will begin sometime this summer.
To view or download the presentation boards for this project, click here.