Brandon, MB – Six years after adoption of its Downtown Secondary Plan, the City of Brandon is inviting the community to provide feedback as it reviews and updates this important framework for downtown development and vibrancy.
Brandon’s Downtown Secondary Plan was adopted by Brandon City Council in early 2012 and identifies the vision by which the City’s downtown might “flourish and grow into a vibrant and dynamic place, the preferred destination in the region, by offering a wide range of unique and diverse experiences and stimulating economic opportunities.” Within it, the three core values of diversity, uniqueness, and character are supported by six themes for organizing action: people on display, mixed-use development, pedestrian friendly, active and engaged merchants, life after dark, and marrying the “building blocks” of heritage and technology.
City of Brandon Chief Planner Ryan Nickel says since the plan’s creation, a number of business owners, developers, and community groups have successfully leveraged it to make progress on the desired vision for downtown, but notes that more can and should be done.
“Among the successes that have already benefited from the Downtown Secondary Plan are institutional projects such as the YMCA of Brandon’s expanded facility, upper floor residential developments like the Prairie Lofts, or existing building renovation projects such as those that have brought about the Prairie Firehouse, SKIN Clinics and Fraser Sneath Coffee, Tour Indoor Cycling, and Pirouette Activewear,” notes Nickel. “Through our review, we’re now looking to build on these successes by updating the implementation portion of the Plan to identify tangible ‘action items’ for downtown – things like future parks creation, vehicle and pedestrian improvements, urban design, economic development, and land use.”
In addition to hosting a focus group with downtown stakeholders earlier this month, the City of Brandon’s Planning, Property & Buildings Department will host a community consultation on Tuesday, April 24th, from 5 p.m.to 7 p.m. within the Brandon Design Studio space of the Cultural Resource Centre at the A.R. McDiarmid Civic Complex, 638 Princess Avenue (Entrance B). Residents and business owners from across Brandon are encouraged to attend.
“We want to know if the vision laid out for downtown Brandon is still the community’s collective vision, and we want to ensure that we, as a City, are providing the necessary supports needed to achieve that vision,” adds Nickel. “This is an opportunity for downtown business owners, investors and all City residents to have an important discussion with us and be part of developing future actions as the City of Brandon continues its efforts to create a vibrant downtown.”
Brandon’s Downtown Secondary Plan can be viewed in full on the City of Brandon website here.