Neill Grading and Construction, Inc., the firm hired by the City of Hickory, will officially begin Union Square renovations and streetscape improvements in Downtown Hickory next week. However, downtown visitors may see activity and preparations for construction in the next few days.
The new designs for downtown will maintain the historic feel of the Square, while modernizing aesthetics and enhancing the space with a distinguished promenade along Union Square storefronts, a central pathway bisecting two large lawn areas, and additional seating areas called garden rooms or parklets. The upgrades are intended to increase “dwell time” in the Central Business District by creating spaces where visitors can comfortably enjoy solitary or group activities.
Plans for downtown also include new public restrooms, a multi-purpose shade structure, and a multi-tiered structure to showcase the historic cannon. The renovations will add lighting, atmospheric music, and complimentary Wi-Fi for downtown visitors.
The City encourages residents and visitors to support downtown retailers throughout construction by continuing to shop, dine, and attend events in the downtown area. In an effort to support local merchants, as well as keep the public engaged and excited about the project during construction, the City’s Office of Communications is launching a marketing campaign dubbed “Crafting the Future.”
Visitors to Downtown Hickory will begin to notice colorful signage with playful slogans scattered throughout the area. Signs, banners, and sidewalk art will be strategically placed to guide visitors to parking and retail destinations. The City is collaborating with the Hickory Downtown Development Association to present “Hard Hat Happy Hours” with live music events and special retailer promotions. There will also be fun photo opportunities available throughout the downtown block.
“The ‘Crafting the Future’ campaign is intended to create some buzz and excitement about the project. We want citizens to be part of history in the making as the City crafts a vibrant future,” said Communications and Marketing Manager Dana Kaminske.
To learn more about the Downtown Hickory renovations and see renderings of the designs, visit http://www.hickorync.gov/content/downtown. For construction updates and information about the City’s other economic growth and revitalization projects, check out www.CraftingHickory.com.