CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – Conway city leaders are moving forward with plans to connect the historic downtown with the riverwalk.
This week, city officials have been meeting with stakeholders in what could be one of the most vital projects to come to downtown Conway. Their goal is to put together a wishlist for the plan without losing sight of the city's true identity.
"We have a unique identity already that sets us apart from other areas," said Adam Emrick, city planning director. "We have a beautiful, historic downtown, a large, thriving, historic downtown. And we have the river area, which no one else has what we have."
The planning director for the city of Conway said, unfortunately, one of those has slipped into the backdrop over the years - the riverwalk.
"Visitors who come to downtown sometimes can't find the river and vice versa," he said.
Emrick said that, for the first time, the city has the green light to make the connection.
"We have an opportunity now that we've never had before to tie those together," he said. "We have an agreement with the Burroughs company, who owns that riverfront property where they are going to be transferring property for public infrastructure while retaining the private area for development. That gives us the ability at the city level to do that infrastructure planning to make everything cohesive."
The goal isn't all about the riverwalk; it's about a thriving downtown as a whole. That means getting more people to live downtown.
"When you've got people walking on the streets at all hours, you've got vibrancy and vibrancy is what people are looking for in downtowns today," Emrick said. "And I think that this plan will give us a lot of leg up on that activity that we are looking for."
From here, city leaders develop this wishlist into a plan. By the end of March, officials hopes to be pitching that plan and start implementing it in April.