Downtown Grand Island to Revitalize


The city of Grand Island recently received a state development grant for $30,000 to create a downtown revitalization plan.

Those plans are now in the making as they've kicked off the planning phase of the project.

City planners, citizens, architects and downtown business owners got together Wednesday night to discuss the future of Downtown Grand Island.

Most of the ideas discussed had one common goal; to generate more traffic.

"A nice boutique hotel could maybe bring a lot of visitors who would spend time downtown; well maybe that brings in a new restaurant downtown. The museum is a great idea for families; [families] could visit with their children then maybe have lunch or dinner so a lot of people want to see activities that transcend all age groups, "said Grand Island Community Development Administrator Marco Floreani about some of the ideas being discussed.

Business owners said they would like to see more competition, because that means more traffic to the area.

Amos Anson, co-owner of The Chocolate Bar, a Downtown Grand Island business that has been there for nearly a year said, "You just have to have some people who are willing to invest money because it does take money to a business and if you don't invest enough it doesn't stay open very long."

The city now has the means to do what Anson would like to see done, and that's to attract more business, and more traffic.

Floreani said they hope to present the final plan to the public by March 2013, and then the state will provide the funding needed for the second phase, the implementing of this project.