Downtown Natchez Master Plan
Natchez, Mississippi (2018)
Established in 1716, Natchez has an international reputation for its extensive antebellum, but the downtown has floundered both physically and economically. As a result, The Walker Collaborative (TWC) was hired to lead a consultant team to craft a master plan for the historic downtown. The client for the project was the non-profit Friends of the Riverfront (FOR) Natchez, which raised over $100,000 in private funding to pay for the plan. The planning process included dozens of meetings with stakeholders, a six-day charrette, and over 200 citizens attending both the charrette workshop and the concept plan presentation. While the plan addressed the entire downtown, a focus was paid to the river bluff area on the west end and the MLK Triangle (hub of African American history) on the east end. Among the plan’s ideas were the following: a stage pavilion on the bluff, infill development along Broadway, relocation of the post office for development of a green space flanked by a farmers market pavilion, conversion of several one-way streets to two-way streets, a parking structure, expansion of the convention center, enhancement of the “triangle” of the MLK Triangle area into a plaza, and building rehabilitations and infill in the MLK Triangle area. The project’s market analysis also resulted in an optimal tenant mix and housing types, and detailed recommendations were provided to establish a Main Street organization.