By May 1, 2016 Read More →

ArchitectureView – Modesto’s Future is Bright

Future of Modesto’s downtown is bright
By Barrett Lipomi

We are in a very exciting time for Modesto and the revitalization of our downtown. Our city has been victim to a down economy most of the past decade watching local business close and storefronts vacated. However, there is positive change happening now. Over the past couple of years we have seen new restaurants, shops and business move into downtown…and succeed. As existing buildings fill up, it allows for new growth and development within the downtown core. This a great opportunity that doesn’t come along often, and if carefully planned and executed, is a chance to improve the architecture and livability of Modesto for generations to come.

There is often the classic “chicken or the egg” discussion that comes up when debating what is the catalyst for improving our downtown. The chicken and the egg being which comes first: housing or more retail. I can see merit to both sides of the argument, but feel housing downtown is a real need. Ultimately a successful downtown will include mixed-use projects that incorporate both new retail and housing into their development.

In the coming years we need to be diligent not to repeat past mistakes and as community push for projects that will elevate design and quality of life. Budgetary spreadsheets and pro formas don’t tell the whole story about what is appropriate to be developed within our community. Design, context and sustainability should be at the center of each project.
There are many great resources within Modesto including the Downtown Improvement District, Chamber of Commerce and now the Modesto Downtown Partnership, among others. The more I have become involved in community and downtown organizations, the more optimistic I am about the future of our city. There is a real movement happening and I continue to meet more and more people with passion for our community. So I encourage you to become involved now to ensure a beautiful downtown for the future.



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