Benchmark Planning was selected to update the Downtown Suffolk Initiatives Plan prepared by Urban Design Associates in 1998.  The original plan was created as part of the City’s comprehensive plan update process and carried out as a separate study.  This updated study focused on downtown’s relationship to the natural environment; local architectural character and tradition; transportation framework; market potential; and overall downtown initiatives. During the process, an empty storefront was utilized for the design workshops that were attended by more than 175 people.  In addition, the City setup pop-up cafes along downtown sidewalks to increase visibility for the workshops and encourage outdoor dining.  The plan outlines key public and private investments such as a refreshed downtown streetscape, a new library, new downtown housing and several public/private partnership development opportunities.  

Plan Implementation

  • New library moving forward
  • New brewery and outdoor cafe policy
  • Wayfinding and Design Guidelines planning
  • Developing a downtown park and venue