In 2006, Beckett & Raeder, Inc. (BRI) worked with the City of Northville’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA) to produce the Northville Downtown Strategic Plan. This plan formed the vision for the future of Northville’s downtown, and the following ten years were spent implementing the transformative changes seen in today’s downtown. Despite the overwhelming success, the downtown still faced issues. In 2016, the BRI team was selected to update the Strategic Plan, building upon the previous decades’ momentum and isolating the remaining challenges.
Building consensus was one of the pinnacles of the plan and community engagement efforts were crucial. Local officials, business owners, stakeholders, developers, and citizens had various ideas for the future of the downtown. A dedicated steering committee was formed to represent the diverse community interests, and several planning sessions were held to involve all of the aforementioned parties. Intercept surveys were performed during peak downtown hours in the summertime, gauging interests from all that visited the downtown, including those that did not live in the Northville area. Stakeholder interviews provided insight into the public perceptions regarding the downtown. Additional surveys for residents were disseminated and over 1,000 participants voiced their needs, concerns, and ideas.
A thorough inventory of existing businesses, vacant storefronts, and current land uses were spatially mapped. The hours of operation, a primary concern from residents and business owners, were recorded for each downtown business to create heat maps that show the level of activity in two-hour intervals for the downtown, seven days a week. A physical design and land use framework component made recommendations on pedestrian linkages, streetscape repair, green spaces, parking opportunities, accessibility, and traffic circulation. Retail and residential target market analyses were conducted to determine the missing types of housing, the number of housing units that the market can absorb, and the types of new retail establishments that would be supported by the current mix of businesses. When combined, each of the respective efforts created a harmonious policy document to guide Northville through the next ten years of implementation.
Northville Downtown Strategic Plan
2016 Landscape Architectural Sustainability Honor Award
Michigan Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects