Calera invites public to Downtown Development Workshop

FROM STAFF REPORTS

CALERA — In response to recent recommendations from the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham, found in the city’s new Comprehensive Plan, the city of Calera and Calera Main Street are taking the next step to create a master plan for their downtown area.

Community Design Solutions and Main Street Alabama will conduct a Downtown Development Plan Workshop for Calera on Aug. 23-25. The purpose of the plan will be to provide Calera Main Street with a strategic framework or “road map” with prioritized recommendations and specific implementation tactics for the next one to five years as the organization guides the downtown revitalization activities for the community.

“With advice from the Downtown Development Team and the ideas from our local Main Street Organization, I hope that we can implement a more thorough plan for the revitalization of our downtown ‘Main Street’ area,” said Calera Mayor Jon Graham.

The public is invited to attend the community visioning session on Monday, Aug. 23 at 5:30 p.m. at Calera City Hall at 7901 U.S. 31. The community visioning session will be interactive, and community members are encouraged to give input to help shape the vision for downtown Calera.

Community members are also invited to attend the final presentation on Wednesday, August 25 at 5 p.m. in the same location. The public presentation will include a summary of the observations and recommendations by the Downtown Development Team.

“Our goal is to create a shared downtown development plan that Calera can use to build on for years to come,” said Jackie Batson, executive director of Calera Main Street. “While we are bringing in experts to guide us through, we hope that the people of Calera (citizens, business owners, leaders, and even students) will come together and put all of our ideas into plans and then put those plans into action for a greater tomorrow for the City of Calera.”

The Downtown Development Plan Team is comprised of individuals with expertise in a wide range of downtown revitalization experiences. The visit will be comprehensive, and the team’s investigation, observations, recommendations, and presentation will follow the Main Street Approach to downtown revitalization.

The team will provide recommendations for the community based on information gathered through a review of prior planning documents, market research, a community tour, interviews and input sessions, and a facilitated community visioning session.

The team will send a final report to Calera Main Street following the Downtown Development Workshop that will contain all the recommendations from the community presentation.

During the Downtown Development Plan Workshop, Main Street Alabama will also be providing branding services for Calera Main Street. The purpose of which is to develop a brand system that provides the community with a fresh marketing image that can be deployed to reinforce community pride; connect the city with its surroundings and create a system that is highly expandable while reflecting the character of the community. The new brand identity will expand to marketing pieces to foster investment and enhance the visitor experience. They will develop a marketing program around the brand that is easy to implement, builds off existing colors, and can be deployed immediately.

“The Downtown Development Team looks forward to working with the Calera community to develop a plan for the Calera Main Street Organization that will lead to economic growth and vitality in the downtown district which will ultimately benefit the entire town,” said Mary Helmer Wirth, state coordinator of Main Street Alabama.

Team Members include Randy Wilson, Community Design Solutions; Andy Kalback, Kalback Design Studio; Clark Bailey, Kimley-Horn; Tripp Muldrow and Shawn Terpack, Arnett Muldrow; and Mary Helmer Wirth and Tanya Maloney, Main Street Alabama.