Girard Borough has begun a multi-year planning and historic preservation effort for downtown Girard that will include the development and adoption of a Master Plan and completion of a National Register of Historic Places nomination for a Downtown Historic District. The objective of this effort is to develop a plan to leverage the unique assets of downtown Girard in a manner that revitalizes the Borough’s central business district. Funding for the project has been secured through grants from the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission and the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority.
Topics to be addressed in the Downtown Master Plan include a market analysis of the town’s assets and history, a branding and marketing strategy for promoting downtown Girard to visitors, and design guidelines for building and infrastructure rehabilitation and maintenance within the Borough’s downtown. The completed document will provide invaluable guidance for public officials and local stakeholders for overseeing the development of downtown Girard for the next two decades.
The Borough has hired Buffalo, New York based consultants Urban Vantage and Preservation Studios, to facilitate the planning and historic preservation process. Urban Vantage will assist with the preparation of the Downtown Master Plan, while Preservation Studios will prepare the Downtown Historic District National Register of Historic Places nomination.
Borough Manager Rob Stubenbort shared, “The master plan represents a unique opportunity for the community to provide input and ideas that will impact the downtown for decades to come. Our business district has made great strides in the recent years and must continue to evolve to meet the needs of our visitors and residents.”
As a central part of this process, the Borough is seeking input from the community to inform its efforts. Planned outreach efforts include public meetings, surveys, and personal interviews with interested individuals.
“We invite everyone to participate in the upcoming surveys, discussions, and other chances to be part of the planning process. The more ideas and comments, the better,” Stubenbort said.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, many of these efforts will be held virtually, but the Borough is both hopeful and committed to conducting in-person engagement efforts as well, where and when it is possible to do so safely and in accordance with the recommendations of public health guidelines. More information regarding public engagement efforts will be posted in the coming weeks. Announcements will be available on the Borough’s website as well on social media as it becomes available.