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Two downtown renovation projects breaking ground this month

Construction for renovations to the Riverfront Plaza and second phase of the North Boulevard Town Square are set to start this month.

The $750,000 renovation of Riverfront Plaza, originally projected to cost $450,000, is being paid for by a one-cent sales tax rebate from the state hotel-motel tax. The project is part of the 2006 Riverfront Master Plan and is expected to take six to eight months to finish.

The renovations will make the area more handicap accessible with a new ADA-compliant drop off area by the plaza, as well as make the southern portion more accessible for vendor vehicles at events. There will also be lighting and landscaping upgrades.

“A large part of the concept with the plaza is the sculptures that are currently in the theatre will be brought out to a sort of sculpture garden, if you will, and also kind of a larger open space,” says Downtown Development Director Davis Rhorer.

The $2 million second phase of the North Boulevard Town Square, near the Old State Capital, is expected to break ground on Aug. 29.

The project, which will take eight months, includes improvements on the streetscape down to River Road and a reconfiguration of the area in between Fourth and Fifth streets. The award-winning first phase of the project was finished in 2012 for $7 million.

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