City officials discuss downtown development with design team

Friday, May 7, 2010 | 12:01 a.m. CDT; updated 10:26 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, June 16, 2010

COLUMBIA — Discussions about the future development of the North Village Arts District and property at Broadway and Providence Road will take place in June.

H3, a St. Louis design firm hired by the Columbia City Council on April 5 to conduct an urban design charrette, will conduct several meetings with stakeholders to discuss the future of downtown.

Three members of the H3 design team met Thursday afternoon with Assistant City Manager Tony St. Romaine, Public Communications Manager Toni Messina and Downtown Leadership Council Chairman Randy Gray to discuss potential locations for the charrette.

"This was purely an organizational meeting," H3 project director John Hoal said. "We kicked around some ideas in terms of location."

St. Romaine said specific dates or locations have not been decided yet.

"This is a fascinating community," Hoal said. "We're really thrilled to be coming down to facilitate these discussions."

Over a period of five days, H3 will facilitate discussions with stakeholders regarding their ideas, Hoal said.

"(Stakeholders) — being anyone who can approve and promote the project as well as anyone directly affected by the outcomes — are involved through a series of short feedback meetings," Hoal said in an e-mail. "Most stakeholders attend two or three feedback meetings at critical decision-making points during the charrette."

Hoal said that after the charrette, H3 will take two weeks to put together a plan.

"We will come back with what we believe to be a refinement before we prepare the final plan," Hoal said.

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