[Source: Susan Padilla, Arizona Republic] -- With 30 to 40 percent of Coolidge's downtown vacant, the city is on the move to revitalize the area while maintaining its historical features. Most buildings date to the 1940s and 1950s, which doesn't make a pedestrian-friendly area. "It was a very stark time," said Alton Bruce, the city's economic development director. "We are trying to keep points from the historic times but also add to it without leaving the past behind. It is a tough balancing act."
The city has hired HyettPalma Inc., a national consulting firm that specializes in economic enhancement of downtowns. The company's goals include recruiting businesses, enhancing public spaces and improving traffic flow. "We picked HyettPalma because they have a good track record for doing this type of work," Bruce said.
City planner Joshua Busard said the city is forming a process committee that will be made up of community leaders interested in improving downtown. "They will help take surveys and talk to business owners and property owners in the downtown areas," Busard said. "They will have face time with HyettPalma to discuss their feelings about downtown." [Note: To read the full article, click here.]