Several years ago, as local visionaries created the Heartland Visioning Strategic Plan, they said they wanted downtown to be the center of the community, the core of the community, the venue for events, parades, shopping, dining and entertainment for all ages.
Today, that's beginning to happen! From Top City Thursdays during the warm months where stores and restaurants stay open late for downtown workers and their friends and colleagues, to parades on St. Patrick's Day and just about any other holiday, to outside dining to loft and apartment living. It's happening in downtown. Farmer's Markets on Saturdays and Wednesday provide healthy food options along with local artists and crafts people who find an outlet for performance and display and sale of their products and services.
During the first Friday Art Walks many galleries and businesses stay open and people visit the central part of their city for fun and enterainment.
Downtown developments underway or on the horizon include:
- Restoration of the State Capitol building is nearing completion with a 2012 finish date planned;
- A soon-to-be rennovated 20th century Jayhawk Theatre;
- Green space;
- Rehabilitation of the street scape with new infrastructure and interactive activities;
- Corporate businesses like Gizmo Pictures, Capitol Federal, GTRUST, US Bank and Clayton Financial Services are making investments in their buildings;
- New jazz venues and restaurants are popping up;
- Loft apartments are ready for new residents to design a place "just how they like it";
- Plans for the riverfront project are beginning to take shape;
- New Topeka Metro buses take people throughout the city; and
- the NOTO Arts District in North Topeka has artists in residence, a community arts center, and new shops with art and antiques available for purchase.
Downtown is fun, liveable, alive, and exciting!