Centerville officials announced Wednesday afternoon the acquisition of a vacant laundromat at 30 Main St., which sits behind Craig’s Barber Shop, as part of its Uptown Centerville development plan.
The property is an important component of the city’s overall strategy to improve parking and connectivity to the businesses in Uptown, according to City Manager Wayne Davis.
City officials in June released a plan to build a brand called Uptown that they say will help provide a strong sense of community and stimulate long-term economic growth.
Centerville will update its Architectural Preservation District, which includes about 90 business ranging from boutiques and salons to restaurants and professional services and residents.
“Making the area a destination — not a downtown but an Uptown trip — offered the opportunity to freshen up the city’s business landscape,” Davis said.
Spokeswoman Kate Bostdorff said the city’s purchase of the vacant laundromat will help move the Uptown strategy forward.
“The city will demolish the existing building and create a connection between the city-owned lot that serves City Barbeque and Graeter’s and a lot it leases from Cross Point Church,” she said. “This connection will include a landscaped pedestrian walkway.”
Improvements to public parking and pedestrian walkability were identified as priorities during the Uptown Visioning Process, which was organized by the city earlier this year.
The results of that process were incorporated into the Uptown Action Plan, which was approved as an amendment to the city’s “Create the Vision” comprehensive plan at Monday’s City Council.
“The response to the Uptown Action Plan has been overwhelmingly positive,” Mayor Brooks Compton said. “There will be a lot of activity coming to Uptown Centerville.”
City officials are working with a design firm to create a concept plan to improve the parking in the Northeast and Northwest quadrants of the Main Street and Franklin Street intersection.
“The city is working with business and property owners in Uptown to make sure the parking proposal is beneficial for everyone,” Centerville Economic Development Administrator Michael Norton-Smith said. “Our goal is to improve the traffic and parking flow in the Uptown area, which makes vehicles and pedestrians safer and attracts more visitors to the district.”
Demolition of the laundromat and construction of the improvements are planned for early 2020.