We want the beauty and brightness of our downtown to match the vibrancy and excitement of our community, especially during the holiday season that so many small business owners rely on.
More than 1,000 community members voice their aspirations for the future of Downtown Marietta.
Last fall, the City of Marietta initiated a process to create a Downtown Revitalization Plan. The plan, Enrich Marietta, is intended to be a results-driven, inclusive process that results in a strategic vision and guide that outlines future public and private improvements.
Public engagement is an important component in the planning process. It ensures the Plan is rooted in the values and aspirations of the community. Marietta community members were invited to share their individual thoughts and help shape a collective vision for the future of the Downtown. In total, over 1,000 people were engaged through meetings, community events, and online activities. The engagement included digital advertisements on the project website, the City website, and social media accounts and in-person messages with paper flyers and at city events.
The community had many opportunities to participate in the first round of engagement. Engagement events were held at the Marietta College’s Winter Weekend, multiple venues at First Friday in March, and there were two community meetings held in the Harmar neighborhood. Attendees of the events were presented information about the planning process and invited to participate in mapping and board activities. Additionally, a community survey was available online and at the public meetings, which included questions about the current conditions of Downtown Marietta and preferences on future growth and development in the area.
The feedback gathered during the public engagement process is summarized as follows:
Residents and visitors place a high priority on downtown revitalization.
People value the riverfront and want it to be enhanced to improve access and enjoyment.
The public enjoys existing programming downtown but would like to see additional events and activities.
General upkeep of roadways and building maintenance should be improved.
Additional restaurants and shopping downtown, including availability outside of normal business hours, is desired.
There is an interest in living downtown across all housing options.
There is a desire for more informal gathering areas for seating and outdoor dining. This could be in both public and private areas.
Increasing connectivity across all modes of travel is important.
Downtown is the cultural hub of the arts and historical assets.
Harmar and Harmar Bridge are priority areas for reinvestment.
This input will be instrumental in shaping the outcomes of the Plan. It will identify what topics are most important to the community and inform the recommendations regarding projects, programs, and policies. Currently, the planning team is utilizing what was learned from the public input to develop the draft Plan, which will be shared with the public for additional comment this summer.
For a complete summary of the results, click here!
Join Marietta Main Street downtown this weekend for First Friday: Future Pioneers, sponsored by Marietta College! From 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. this Friday, Marietta College will have activities set up on the Armory lawn throughout the evening, while shops host special in-store events.
Marietta College will also be hosting a giveaway, which shoppers can enter by bringing their receipts from the evening to the Armory Lawn. For each receipt purchase made at a downtown business during First Friday, they will be entered to win a prize basket full of Marietta College goodies. Many shops downtown additionally offer a 10% discount for Marietta College students, a year long partnership to encourage students to engage with downtown.
“We are very excited to partner with Marietta College for this event,” said LauraPytlik, Owner of Wit & Whimzy and Chair of Marietta Main Street’s First Friday Committee. “Future Pioneers is shaping up to be a fun evening for families and and an excellent opportunity to visit the downtown shops and businesses.”
With local businesses gearing up for the holiday shopping season, First Friday is a great way to get an early start on checking off items on that Christmas list. “We have such a wonderful variety of shopping and services available in our downtown core,” said Sarah Arnold, Board President for Marietta Main Street. “This year we’ve welcomed a number of new businesses as well, making every First Friday an opportunity for shoppers to find something new!”
Details can be found on the event’s Facebook page. First Fridays are monthly events that showcase the best of Marietta and allow the community to take advantage of extended shopping hours.