KNOXVILLE — Downtown development will be the focus when Knoxville is visited by five downtown revitalization specialists from the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Downtown Resource Center.
The City of Knoxville and Knoxville Chamber of Commerce have teamed to coordinate this Downtown Assessment scheduled for May 4-6.
The Assessment is an intense, on-site study of the downtown, including a public presentation at the end of the visit and a written report that will help Knoxville with its planning efforts.
Jim Engle, Director of the Iowa Downtown Resource Center, says “the assessment visit is a great way for a community to take a step back and get honest feedback from a qualified group of downtown professionals. The five-person team will highlight the downtown’s strengths and challenges, and will offer some practical recommendations that the community can implement over time.”
Knoxville’s Assessment team consists of: Jim Engle, Director, Iowa Downtown Resource Center, Iowa Economic Development Authority; Jim Thompson, Business Specialist, Iowa Economic Development Authority; Kris Patrick, Main Street Director, Fort Dodge Main Street Program and formerly Director of Chariton Main Street Program; Jeff Geerts, Special Projects Manager, Iowa Economic Development Authority; and Dennis Reynolds, principal, Reynolds Urban Design & Urban Planning.
All five have worked extensively in all sizes of communities in the Midwest with an emphasis on downtown development.Many communities in Iowa have taken advantage of this service and then went on to execute successful plans and projects.
Issues such as downtown aesthetics, business mix and development, organizational refinement, promotion calendars, and building rehabilitation are common themes for the downtown assessment visits.
The service will start even before the team comes to town. A short pre-visit, on-line survey will be emailed out to a sample of residents.
While on-site, the team will tour the community and the downtown, hold a public meeting and interview many Knoxville individuals and groups.
Engle says “the visit is always most successful when we have excellent community input. We encourage Knoxville residents to get involved with the visit in some way. Fill out a survey. Meet with the assessment team. Attend the public meeting. We encourage you to think about your downtown and come ready to participate.”