Statesboro seeks input from residents for Downtown Master Plan

Local News

STATESBORO, Ga. (WSAV) – The city of Statesboro is asking for the community’s help to create a Master Plan for the future of the city’s historic downtown.

When you look at historic downtown Statesboro you’ll see a few businesses, city buildings, and empty sidewalks. The city is looking to change the experience you get in the area.

“I will say that the downtown has good bones but we really need to put more meat on those bones. We have some lovely historic buildings and we certainly need to build on that,” Director of Planning & Development, Kathy Field said.

The city and residents want to see a more active downtown scene that they don’t have right now.
The vision of this project is expected to take place over the next decade if the city can agree on a Master Plan to move forward.

A community workshop was held Thursday to give residents an opportunity to provide input on what they want to see in historic downtown.

“It’s important for us to get their input. We don’t come up with a plan and present it, we really do it the reverse,” Field said.

The plan will look at how to attract new businesses and residents to downtown, how to make it easier to walk and find a parking space, encourage new developments, and create a vibrant gathering place in the heart of the city.

“Especially when we think about students and everyone at Georgia Southern, downtown feels really far away even though it’s actually not that far away. So we’re thinking a lot about how to draw those people in and how to make better connections along the Blue Mile,” Project Manager, Woody Giles said.

Resident Jimmy Melton’s main concern about downtown right now is the lack of foot traffic.

“It’s a wonderful place. It’s small, but there’s some quality places as far as culture and the few restaurants that are there. We just need more of it,” Melton said.

The hope is to be done with the Master Plan by late 2021 or early 2022. Construction on the project could start soon after that.

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