City Manager Jane Howington's State of the City address earlier this month painted an exciting picture of what's to come in Hudson this year.
Residents are probably going to be very interested to see what the Downtown Phase II plans look like. The designs, by Testa Companies, will be shown to the public and comments will be sought in 2017. The city's gone through a long process of planning this project and carefully choosing the developer it felt would best fit the endeavor, which will be a mix of office and residential units on 20.5 acres in the Morse Road area.
First & Main opened more than a decade ago and its effect on the city, both from a perception standpoint and an economic one, has been undeniable. It's almost hard to imagine now what the downtown area was like before. "Revitalized" isn't the right word for what First & Main did for the area because the area already was vital, but I might say that the development reenergized the community in general. It's a very popular place to go for not only city residents but everyone in Northeast Ohio, for many reasons. That said, it's good to see that Hudson officials recognize the need for public input on this next big step in the downtown planning process. The residents --and officials -- care deeply about their community and want to make sure the historic feel is maintained. Howington has used the phrase "enhance our community" when describing the goals of the Downtown Phase II efforts and that seems appropriate.
What developer Joel Testa said back in October is encouraging: "We want to make the second phase feel like the first phase so it feels like it was built at the same time. What did you like the first time? We want your direction."
In her Jan. 17 address, Howington also mentioned the plans for a new City Municipal Services Center. City-owned properties are being considered, so the need to renew the lease on the current location on Executive Parkway can be avoided. The lease is up in late 2019, which might seem like a long time from now, but a site needs to be chosen soon so there's time to go through a bidding process for development of the project before the building would begin and the city could undertake this move. We'll be very eager to see how this project ultimately unfolds.
Additional businesses coming to Hudson Crossing this year, including two new medical facilities, should also add to the area's vitality.
Our Wednesday paper (Jan. 25) had a Page 1 story about how Hudson has been ranked one of the safest places to live in the state. It says something about how the community feels about their hometown that an announcement like this comes as no surprise.
The future of the city is looking anything but dull! We always welcome your thoughts on the future of downtown Hudson or anything Hudson-related with a letter to the editor. Let us help you share your thoughts with the community.
Email: sshriner@record pub.com