7 Key Guiding Points

For the Washington waterfront and downtown to reach its potential these seven points should be met:

  1. Link Main Street to the river,
  2. Provide public and private parking for expanded retail and commerce
  3. Create the opportunity for $60 to $90 million of taxpaying adaptive reuse and new construction
  4. Develop a premier space for public use and assembly
  5. Develop a circulation plan that minimizes public expense while providing connectivity between the park, the water and Main/Market Streets
  6. Establish a vision and reinvestment strategy that enhances that brand of Washington’s downtown as a “Central Business District on the River”
  7. and finally have an implementation strategy to accomplish the preceding six points

In 2009 the City, many key stakeholders of the downtown and many of Washington’s citizens engaged in a series of meetings and charette sessions lead by LandDesign. Out of those meetings came the Revitalization and Reinvestment Strategy.

Review the final strategy HERE

Since then the City, Washington Harbor District Alliance and many other stakeholders have completed these projects initially mentioned in the 2009 Washington Visualization & Reinvestment Strategy:

Festival Park
The Lighthouse Facility
The Washington Waterfront Docks Business Plan
The People’s Pier
Wayfinding Program (Phase One Completion Winter 2015)

Discussions have been started about forming a plan for an Underground Utility/Streetscape Project for Main and Market Streets.

Resulting from the Washington
Visualization and Reinvestment Strategy

Create a Harbor District
We create a “Harbor District” with the realization that to reach full potential and prosper the Central Business District and the Harbor’s waterfront must be viewed as one entity. This “Harbor District” theme will be our downtown’s “Brand”.
The Historic Washington Harbor District spans the area between the Bridges (now Bridge Street to Builders First Source) and Third Street to the North.
Attract Businesses & Residents
We must make the Harbor District a place which will attract our own citizens to: do business, live, eat and spend their leisure time. By making improvements that our citizens enjoy we will also make our downtown attractive to visitors.
Enjoyable - Friendly - Safe
We make the Harbor District Promenade a more enjoyable and user-friendly experience by creating: more shade (trellis’s above park benches and picnic tables) splash fountains for children, public piers, places to dine, and adding a multi-use, public, covered space between Respess and Market Streets for use as a Farmer’s Market, reunions, traditional music jams, etc.
Festival Park
The Harbor District’s Festival Park (located between the Estuarium and the Maola building) will be designed for multi-use with a great lawn, public pier, and a pavilion for performances, which can also be used for other purposes (weddings, reunions, Summer Festival, Pick’ in on the Pamlico). The park will have public restrooms.
Waterfront Hotel
The Waterfront Hotel is placed in the center of town (Belk and Hotel Louise Buildings), with green space in between the Hotel and the water. The Hotel will have parking underneath and will serve as an “anchor “for the Harbor District. The Hotel will provide a place for our residents to house their guests and relatives when they come for weddings and reunions and will be the preferred place to stay for business travelers and tourists, providing much needed pedestrian traffic to support the retail shops and restaurants in our Central Business District.
Connect to the Water
We connect Main Street to the water by: reorienting the buildings on the South side of the Main toward the water and by creating pedestrian connections and views between Main and Market Streets and the river. Public piers are placed at the ends of Respess and Market.
Support Business
We support the businesses in the Central Business District by modifying the right hand turn lanes (across from Gladden Street) and shrinking the Parkway and thus encouraging traffic to proceed up Main Street. Main Street and Second Streets will also be made two-way, slowing traffic and increasing the exposure of businesses on these streets. By narrowing Stewart Parkway, moving it northward, and extending Water Street to join with the Parkway at Respess, we create additional green space along the waterfront and also make space for Development Opportunities – along the waterfront near the chamber building, and next to the Sloan Building (we propose using a public/private partnership model in which the city retains a controlling interest in the buildings and the waterfront land).
We “Green” the waterfront, by adding more trees, grass and shade. We also change out the blacktop in the parking lots for a permeable service material (such as oyster shells). Adaptive reuse for existing buildings is encouraged. The West end of the Parkway will have a Boaters facility/Harbor Master and Public Restrooms; space for a commercial lease (boater’s store) may also be attached or adjacent to this facility which will generate revenue for the city.
To encourage boaters to frequent the Harbor District, we place a large floating dock at the west end, to allow paddle boaters and power boaters to tie up and spend time in town. We should determine the feasibility of making the existing Route 17  bridge two lanes. This will provide space for a pedestrian and bicycle trail and allow fishing off of the bridge.