Community vision plan aims to modernize Aggieville

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Aggieville is in the process of new development throughout the entire district. The redevelopment plan began this February and is mainly focused on improved parking, more accessibility for citizens and better urban design to distinguish private developments from the public realm of the streetscape.

Currently, one of the biggest perceived issues surrounding Aggieville is the limited parking.

“A lack of parking, especially during the day and dinnertime is a big issue,” said John Blackwell, manager at Kite’s Bar & Grill.

With only a few small parking lots around Aggieville and limited parking on the streets running through it, it’s easy to understand why there is a need for more parking for such a popular place.

John Adam, senior planner for the city of Manhattan, said the city is studying the business district’s parking dilemma.

“We are currently conducting a parking analysis for both commercial and residential areas in Aggieville,” Adam said.

The analysis serves to provide a better understanding of where parking lots should be designated in the future, as well as how to maximize parking potential based on zoning. Aggieville is currently broken down into three zones: Bluemont/Anderson, Historic and Laramie.

Thus far, Adam and his team have decided no off-street parking should face streets or the front sides of buildings. Instead, it should be located behind buildings.

This will improve the area’s streetscape, an important element of the public realm because it offers a better experience for anyone walking, biking or driving through and around Aggieville.

Other issues the redevelopment aims to address include atmosphere and mix of land use.

“One of our main goals is to encourage a downtown atmosphere instead of a strip mall atmosphere,” Adam said.

To achieve this, the redevelopment may entail district changes prohibiting drive-thru use and curb cuts on Moro Street.

In regards to land use, the redevelopment plans to create more five-story buildings for commercial and residential use, modernizing the area and creating a more “downtown” atmosphere.

The ground floors of the new buildings will support traditional, broad-community endeavors like shops, restaurants and entertainment venues. The upper floors will house small-scale residences or corporate offices.

Hayden Jackson, junior in life sciences, said he lives across from Aggieville on Bluemont Avenue. He said he has noticed recent changes to the area.

“Construction has begun for buildings across the street from my house, and it’s exciting because I can tell this area is modernizing and growing,” Jackson said.

Currently, there is no specific timeline detailing Aggieville’s renovation.

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