Our View: With leadership, downtown group can make area much better

May 19, 2019

The revival of the Downtown Community Association is a needed step in firming up the future of the area.

It’s done a good job in developing an identity and in growing toward the blend of restaurants, bars, boutiques and galleries envisioned 20 years ago.

Interestingly, a lot of its current character evolved on its own without any of the shaping hands of a guiding organization.

Good thing, since both the organization of businesses in the area and the name of the downtown area itself has changed a lot over the years. It’s been known as Uptown, Downtown, Upper McCulloch and Main Street.

The downtown association essentially fell apart a few years ago, punting caretaking responsibilities to the city’s tourism bureau.

Go Lake Havasu’s main job is to bring people to the area, not to coordinate details of street closures and activities for a particular area of town.

The resuscitated downtown association ideally takes care of those things, at the least, even if it faces a struggle to get all the landowners on the same page regarding physical improvements.

For the association, it should be good news that the community regards the downtown area as a great central meeting spot.

To build upon that, the association needs to communicate to the public on what events are going on and the timing of street closures. It does not advance the purpose of the association if the public is confused on whether Upper McCulloch is a real street for traffic or whether it’s a pedestrian walkway.

Downtown has a jewel in the Querio Street pocket park, though it remains an unnamed blank slate (and ground) two years after it was the centerpiece of an award-winning economic development plan.

It also has a strong partner in Arizona State University, which is deeply interested in downtown development.

Even without an active downtown association, the area has become an eclectic and somewhat funky playground, appealing to everyone from winter visitors to gearheads to the artsy crowd.

With active, invested leadership, the reanimated downtown group can keep nurture the positive steps while advocating for and working toward continued improvements.

Who knows, they may even get the big sign on Acoma Boulevard taken down, the one that proclaims Main Street.

— Today’s News-Herald

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