What will Manchester’s riverfront and downtown area look like in the future?
An open air pavilion and recreational activities along the riverfront, trees lining the downstreet streets, a shelter with restrooms and showers by the Whitewater Park and townhomes overlooking the river… those are just a few of the ideas included in the initial concept plan that was unveiled this week.
City officials have been working with Confluence, an architect firm who gathered ideas from the public during an input meeting last year. The firm merged those ideas and came up with a concept plan, which was displayed on maps Wednesday night during an open house at the Manchester Fire Station.
City Manager Tim Vick says Phase One of the project shows room for recreational activities along the Waterwater Park on the south side of Main Street, with a shelter with restrooms and showers on the old Smitty’s property.
Other phases of the concept plan show changes on the north side of West Main Street along the river, with room for a farmer’s market, plaza, watercraft rental and more parking on the west side of River Street and new townhomes and buildings along the east side of the street. And ideas downtown include lots of greenery, with bumped-out curbs with grass and trees lining the downtown streets. An overlook on the south side of the Manchester Whitewater Park is also included. Vick says these ideas are not set in stone – Confluence and the City still wants feedback from the public – but they would like to move forward as soon as they can.