The Village Center concept began with a group of business owners in 2003 to create a “there” in Hiawatha. However, that concept needed to start with the realignment of the Center Point Road/Emmons Street/Robins Road intersection. The intersection was unsafe and the realignment was necessary prior to any redevelopment.Upon completion, the intersection will move 100 feet to the northwest. The work will include new traffic signals, bike trail, and landscaping along the curbs and sidewalks. Project completion is set for November 2017 at a cost of $2,813,734.
The Village Center Committee represented an effective cross section of community interest. These individuals along with the City Council created a master plan for the Village Center that included a feasibility study of private/public projects. The master plan illustrated the arrangement of buildings, together supporting improvements such as parking areas, zero feet setbacks, public walkways, trails, green spaces, landscaping improvements, streetscape enhancements, etc.
Now that the intersection realignment is underway the City can begin the redevelopment of private/city owned properties forming private/public partnerships. Redevelopment will include a mix of service tenants to attract people to the Village Center area and provide space for new jobs. Since there are few major retail shopping opportunities, the city council believes retail is an untapped market. Neighborhood residential markets would be added to the mix along with commercial and destination restaurants.
The realignment of the intersection and future public/private partnership development goals, centered around the intersection, are part of our smart planning initiatives as described in our Hiawatha in 2036 Comprehensive Plan Vision Statement:
We are the Creative Corridor’s most welcoming community to live, work and experience. Residents and visitors will love our small-town feel, walkable neighborhoods and the unique restaurants and shops in our vibrant Village Center.