A hopeful sign for the revitalization of sleepy Mt. Pleasant arrived yesterday with the release of the Office of Planning’s Commercial Revitalization Strategy. The 70-page PDF is brimming with pictures and goals and stakeholders and implementation strategies (conspicuously missing: timetables) to strengthen existing businesses and bring new ones to the area. With an underutilized commercial space rate of almost 14 percent, there’s plenty of room to grow.
How does the plan propose to bring Mt. Pleasant back to life? Its major prescriptions center around training, marketing, and facelifting.
The training aspect involves creating a business manual for new enterprises thinking of locating on the strip and holding events to teach local owners about commercial real estate financing. To market the neighborhood’s businesses, the plan recommends placing signage on nearby streets to direct pedestrians towards Mt. Pleasant Street, recruiting “non-retail” businesses like daycares, and healthcare offices, and coordinating “Shop Mt. Pleasant” events with civic and tenants associations. And for physical improvements, the plan calls for the District Department of the Environment to create a “green streetscape design” full of trees eco-friendly surfaces.
This isn’t the most ambitious plan that Mt. Pleasant has ever seen, compared to some of the transportation and streetscape ideas thrown on the table before. But it has cast a wide net for input, and doesn’t depend on large budget appropriations—so maybe, after the community has a chance to weigh in and make changes, it’ll actually see some action.
A Mayoral hearing will take place on June 19th.