Planners Hope New Study on Downtown Results in New Development

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If city planners have their way, Mellow Mushroom won’t be the only restaurant setting up shop in historic downtown Mansfield.

City leaders, downtown business owners and community leaders have joined together to translate their vision for downtown into reality. The Downtown Mansfield Strategic Implementation Initiative will bring together ideas from previous plans, stakeholder input and recent development opportunities into a coordinated plan of action.

“We have a unique historic downtown,” said City Planning Director Felix Wong. “There are businesses thriving here and it has become a center for community events. This study will give us an opportunity to expand on that with more businesses, housing and public spaces that will make it an important destination within our city.”

Among the ideas being discussed are more restaurants and entertainment, bike and trail links to Town and Rose parks, infill residential development and expansion of pedestrian friendly storefront businesses south of Main Street. Funding options include the development of a tax increment financing district.

City officials say the interest in downtown Mansfield is growing. The news that  Mellow Mushroom, the eclectic pizza restaurant/bar chain, is building a new location on the site of the old Station House at Main and East Broad streets has brought inquiries from other restaurant developers.

“We’ve received several phone calls from developers very interested in looking at downtown property,” said Scott Welmaker, director of economic development. “They’re saying, ‘If they (Mellow Mushroom) want to be down there then we want to be there too.’”

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