Downtown Bricks to get new redesign

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - The City of North Platte, with the Downtown Association and Mid-Nebraska Community Foundation, are drawing up plans to redesign The Downtown Bricks area. The conceptualized drawings imagine what economic development could look like.

Downtown Board Member Alan Hirschfeld gestures to some of the major aspects of the new Bricks redesign, including string lighting and green spaces.

People who work and own businesses in the area got their first look at those drawings Tuesday morning, giving positive and enthusiastic feedback. The idea is to make North Platte's downtown hub competitive with other areas. New drawings followed recent removal of the awnings from the downtown businesses in 2018.

Planning and designing for this project started last fall. Working with a Lincoln landscaping company, the goal is to include as many financially viable ideas as possible. Right now those ideas include safer alleyways and creating a more appealing storefronts along the streets.

"We'll keep our bricks, which our community has spoken very loudly that the bricks are very very important. We'll keep the bricks and we're going to have some special lighting and it'll be a neat deal when it's all done," said Alan Hirschfeld, a downtown board member.

One proposal is to rename the downtown bricks area "The Canteen District." The new title would honor North Platte's railroad history and the famous World War II canteen. The next step is to take the current design plan to city council and start working with the city to see if the ideas can be implemented. The plans featured green spaces, unique lighting and still kept a lot of the brick features that originally come with the area.