When you think of a main street in a city, you may think of a central business hub lined with buildings and people everywhere. Fredericton’s Main Street is far from that ideal busy area. That will be changing with the introduction of the Main Street Urban Design Plan.
The plan will give Main Street a complete make over. It will transform the 2.3 kilometer stretch of road into the premier business district for the cities north side.
The development plan was started with the help of a grant from the government to change and develop areas in major cities. It has taken them three years to develop the plan and get it to its final stages.
“Main Street has never had a traditional urban design plan, so it’s really developed in a hodge podge fashion. We have strip mall, big box, converted home, a little bit of anything and everything on Main Street, not your traditional main street,” said Trina MacDonald, general manager of Business Fredericton North.
The plan focuses on bringing buildings closer to the street with sidewalks and sitting areas lining both sides giving it more of a downtown feel.
Parking lots will be moved to the back of the buildings giving the street a cleaner look.
Some actions are taking place already. Plaza, a development company, has transformed the old Canadian tire building into a commercial strip mall.
The company is also developing a new store that is just a couple feet away from the current sidewalk.
The plan is going to hinge primarily on private developers. That’s why this plan could take from 5 to 25 years to come to be realized.
With the development of new buildings, the plan also focuses on creating affordable living space above businesses.
“So with these new developments were looking at commercial bottoms, as well as apartments condos above, anywhere from 3 to 6 stories,” said MacDonald.
The hope is to bring people closer to the street so that everything they need is within walking distance. MacDonald said that the residences should be affordable.
Business owners are looking forward to the development bringing more business to the north side.
Edwina Corey is the owner of Edwina’s Catering located on Main Street.
“Well I’m thrilled about the main street business development plan. The new urban design will in another twenty years will certainly transition Main Street into being you know hopefully almost like a secondary queen street,” said Corey.
Corey hopes that with the new look of the development that property values will increase. She says that some of the buildings have been needing a facelift for a while.