Director's Take

Priorities for 2023 image

Priorities for 2023


I am looking forward to 2023 with tremendous optimism and excitement for what lies ahead. More and more is happening at venues, eateries, and attractions for everyone to enjoy and take advantage of and I am hopeful that this next year, it also means more people will come back to the office during the day. We at LDP also have some plans up our sleeves that we think will entice you to Downtown even more… so keep your eyes and ears peeled for news as the weather breaks later in the spring!

In the meantime, however, it’s time to set our priorities and get to work to ready Downtown to be its best. Last year, when I started the job, my priorities were to improve placemaking (clean and beautification efforts), increase downtown housing, and spread optimism. I’m proud to say we’re making strides on all those fronts.

This year our priorities are to improve, replace, or repair the Downtown infrastructure, help increase the services and housing options for unhoused individuals on our streets and improve perception of safety, and work with the city to create a more seamless, efficient development process.

LDP has been tracking deficiencies and hazards in our public rights of way that your eyes may have gotten used to but would most likely be noticeable by visitors and residents who come Downtown with less frequency. Getting lights, curbs, sidewalks, garbage cans, and trees in better shape will go a long way in presenting a cared for and beautiful Downtown.

The sub-zero temperatures last week showed us how important it is to have the facilities and services needed to help our houseless population. Nobody should have to live on the street at any time of the year, and if we are going to put any rules in place around enforcing that, then we need to have a place for individuals to go. Crime in Downtown is only 4-5% of all crime in Jefferson County, but in this case the numbers don’t speak for themselves, because we know that the mental health issues and unwanted behavior creates a negative perception of safety. We must work together as a community to fix that. 

And lastly, we want to encourage redevelopment of corner lots, vacant or underutilized buildings, and storefronts. In order to make these areas of Downtown more attractive to investors, developers, and businesses, we will be working with the mayor’s office to create a Downtown Team with all relevant agencies at the table at once, saving valuable time in an important process. We also will advocate, both at the city and state levels, for new incentives and tools that will help close the financial gaps to neutralize the costs of redevelopment in an urban core versus a greenfield, and also to be competitive with neighboring states equipped with better tools.

We may not get everything we want in just this year, but I am confident we will continue to make Downtown a better place. I hope you see that too and want to be part of the momentum… 

Bring a friend and I hope to see you on the streets soon!

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