TDDA envisions Palmer Street of the future

Published 9:58 am Thursday, May 26, 2011

Members of the design charette held Friday and Saturday, May 6 and 7 listen to a presentation. (photo submitted)

The Tryon Downtown Development Association was the sponsor of a successful design charette held Friday and Saturday, May 6 and 7.

Members of TDDA joined local citizens to work with three design teams led by local architects, John Walters, Dean Trakas and Mark Byington. Lou Holloway of the North Carolina Small Town Main Street Program was the moderator for this session.

The weekend began with the team leaders and the moderator walking the entire study area, noting unique features and opportunities for improving the appearance as well as the economics of the area. Photos were taken, which were then shared with the participants. The study area covered the parcels bounded by Trade Street, Palmer Street, Howard Street and Maple Street.

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This area is zoned as “Central Business District,” which is pedestrian-oriented. The area is currently occupied by two prominent businesses, several houses and a sizable parcel owned and used by the Town of Tryon as a maintenance headquarters.

After participation by those attending, many positive ideas were expressed about what an asset this block could provide to the ongoing downtown revitalization efforts of TDDA and the Town of Tryon. Without encroaching on properties that are privately owned, there are many opportunities to improve landscaping, curbing, retaining walls, parking lots, sidewalks and excessive spans of pavement.

The property now used for the maintenance shed has great potential for a new development that would be realized by a public-private partnership between the Town and a developer. Improvement of rear facades of buildings that front Trade Street would be easy to accomplish if building owners work as group to implement this.

One immediate need the group said is for the town to have elevation surveys done so that designers and developers know exactly how many levels between the Train Depot and Howard Street are to be considered.

– article submitted by Wanda May