Uptown Columbus unveils "Master Plan" for riverfront - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Uptown Columbus unveils "Master Plan" for riverfront

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Ken Henson owns several pieces of property in downtown Columbus. He says the area has come a long way and remembers days he spent cleaning up streets filled with prostitutes and pornography.

"Today you come downtown to eat, to walk, park your car…it's a completely different place," said Henson.

It's about to get even better with the new Whitewater rafting course on the way. A new master plan was unveiled by Uptown Columbus Wednesday to include major renovations to the city's riverfront.

"There has been a lot of input from stakeholders in the community, citizens of the community and said here are our needs and priorities here are some of things that we think would be great in the downtown," said Smith.

Douglas Smith President of EDSA, the firm behind the developments says the project will focus on the Riverwalk. This is expected to bring shops and retailers near a water park by the Columbus State Riverfront campus.

Other areas include Broad Street between 10th and 12th streets. Developers hope to make the new one-way street a two-way and completely redevelop the area.

"We're just looking about how to harmonize with what has been done and make some spaces that are sort of currently not in best use but bring them up to another level," said Smith.

Some other projects under consideration: A Children's Museum & Garden, A Culinary Arts School, and a Contemporary Arts and Cultural Center where furniture store Raymond Rowe is currently housed.

"It could be visual artists, film artists but you could have a lot of different people in one building, exchanging ways they doing different things, I think they have them in other communities then it could work here," Henson said.

Plans are also in the works for a trolley or tram that will connect the Columbus riverfront to the Phenix City side.

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