The City of Portsmouth hired Benchmark to develop an Innovation District Master Plan that will create a vision for a vibrant area and a distinctive identity to attract a diverse collection of innovative companies and workers into Uptown.

In recent years, the Uptown District has witnessed decline, with businesses shuttering and vacant properties remaining. Today, the District is adjacent to many residential units, including a public housing complex. The District has a large portion of public-owned lands and great potential to bring in new businesses and uses that can uplift local residents. The Innovation District Master Plan included an Innovation District Assessment, based primarily on the Brookings Institute's criteria. The full Master Plan also developed strategies to improve the district by fostering employment and business opportunities for residents. The Innovation District Master Plan is currently being developed by Benchmark and is anticipated to be completed this year.