City of Lenoir seeking input on downtown master plan

LENOIR, NC (February 22, 2023) — The City of Lenoir will hold several community engagement meetings in March to gather ideas and get public feedback for the City’s new Downtown Master Plan.

The Downtown Master Plan will establish goals for redevelopment and improvements in Downtown Lenoir during the next 10 years. The plan will likely recommend changes and additions to public infrastructure such as sidewalks, common areas, lighting, and street patterns in Downtown.

Photo by DLR Group | Downtown Master Plan Advisory Committee members perform a SWOT analysis for Downtown Lenoir Jan. 24, 2023.

City of Lenoir staff and DLR Group, which was selected to develop the plan, will hold three community engagement meetings in March to get public input. Residents are welcome to attend any or all of the following meetings:

  • Friday, March 3, 2023, 6:00 to 8:00 pm at The Harper Room, 1016 Harper Ave
  • Saturday, March 4, 2023, 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center, 313 Greenhaven Dr NW
  • Saturday, March 4, 2023, 3:00 to 5:00 pm at Mulberry Recreation Center, 720 Mulberry St SW

Downtown Lenoir Main Street Director Kaylynn Horn said staff and DLR Group want to make sure the Downtown Master Plan represents the interests of residents, businesses, property owners, local leaders, and the City. Getting input and ideas from the public during the community engagement meetings will help make that happen.

The Advisory Committee will provide input and recommendations throughout development of the Downtown Master Plan.

“The Downtown Master Plan will be a guide and vision of where the community would like to see Downtown Lenoir in the next 10 years,” Director Horn said. “We want it to represent Lenoir, and we want to get honest and useful feedback from the public as we’re developing the plan.”

During the community engagement meetings, DLR Group staff will explain what a Downtown Master Plan is, what the goals of a plan are, why a community would develop one, and the timeline and process of creating Lenoir’s plan. But most of the meeting will be interactive.

“We’ll ask participants questions about Downtown Lenoir, do some emotional mapping, and see why people come or don’t come to Downtown Lenoir,” said DLR Group Member Christina Kruise said. “Then we’ll have some general conversations. The more people we hear from, the more reflective the plan will be of residents’ desires and hopes for Downtown Lenoir.”

The map above shows Lenoir’s National Register Historic District outlined in dark pink, the Municipal Service District outlined in orange, and Central Business District shaded in pink. The Campus is located in the lower left corner of the Central Business District just outside the Municipal Service District.

DLR Group is a nationally renowned design firm based in Charlotte with more than 40 designers, architects, and planners. DLR Group has been a member and a leader in the League of Historic American Theatres for 20-plus years; the firm has a heart for historic preservation and community growth through the arts. DLR Group is currently working on performing arts and planning projects in Morganton, Salisbury, Charlotte, and Durham.  Their team includes McGill Associates, who have successfully completed many projects – both plans and implementation – for the City of Lenoir.

“Downtown Lenoir has a lot of momentum and potential,” Kruise said. “There is a strong presence of public art, which is great. We can build on that as we think about place making and bringing more creativity into Downtown. And there is a lot of opportunity to make the square a very vibrant gathering place.”

DLR Group visited Lenoir in January, met with the Downtown Master Plan Advisory Committee, and held several one-on-one interviews and focus group meetings. The group hopes to have the new Downtown Master Plan completed by October this year.

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