Pickens city officials want to hear from the community next week on how they'd like to see the city grow.
The City of Pickens and the Pickens Revitalization Association have contracted with Main Street South Carolina to a conduct a community vision planning Charrette. A Charrette is an intense planning session between citizens and designers regarding development.
The Charrette will be held Tuesday-Wednesday, according to Kristen Henry, executive director of the Pickens Revitalization Association.
“We have a total of four public input meetings,” Henry said.
A meeting specifically for high school students will be held 2:30pm Tuesday at Pickens City Hall.
“Teens have a unique take on everything,” Henry said. “They definitely should be included.”
A Town Hall meeting will be held 6pm Tuesday, July 17 at the Bethlehem Roanoke Water Office at 116 McDaniel Avenue.
On Wednesday, a Merchants meeting will be held at 8:30am, July 18 at Pickens City Hall.
“The point of these town hall meeting is for this team to wrap their heads around where Pickens is now and where the citizens would like to see it go, where they'd like to see it grow to, really,” Henry said.
And participants won't have to wait long to see the results of those input meetings, Henry said.
“This team is so thorough that there will actually be a final presentation ready and available Thursday afternoon,” Henry said.
That presentation will be unveiled at the final meeting at noon on Thursday at the Pickens County Museum.
The team is Beppie LeGrand with Main Street South Carolina, Randy Wilson with Community Design Solutions, Tripp Muldrow and Tee Coker with Arnett Muldrow Associates, Tom McGilloway of Mahan Rykiel & Associates and Andy Kalback of Kalback Planning & Design.
“This team is like a dream team of designers and architects,” Henry said. “It's an amazing group of people.”
“The team will offer four free interviews, full out marketing and planning and design services offered to four business owners here on Main Street, completely free of charge to them,” Henry said.
When Main Street South Carolina officials visited Pickens last year as part of the official kickoff when Pickens joined the program, they did renderings for several area businesses at no cost.
“Foothills Pawn was one of them,” Henry said. “(The owners) were so excited about what this group of people did for them, they're actually implementing the design changes.
In advance of the Charrette, team members have been conducting zip code surveys with shoppers in Pickens, and offering the participating businesses a free marketing report.
That data will be used to give merchants a better idea of where their customers are coming from and could be crucial when it comes to recruiting new business.
Earlier this year, officials with Main Street South Carolina urged the city to create a marketing plan for Pickens as a way of combining many different efforts “under one playbook.”
“This is a big step,” Henry said of the Charrette. “They're going to work on our wayfinding signage, develop a whole signage plan for Pickens. There's going to be a lot going next week.”
Main Street South Carolina aims to empower residents, business owners and local officials with the knowledge, skills, tools and organizational structure necessary to revitalize their downtowns, neighborhood commercial districts and cities and towns into vibrant centers of commerce and community. Main Street South Carolina follows the National Main Street’s Four Point Approach – Organization, Promotion, Design and Economic Restructuring.