Beyond Tomorrow Downtown Plan

Welcome to the Beyond Tomorrow Downtown Plan page where you will find regular updates on the project. The Beyond Tomorrow Downtown Plan is a comprehensive development plan for the downtown Manhattan area. It will replace the Downtown Tomorrow Plan, which was adopted in 2000 and has been successfully completed for several years. The new plan is expected to be adopted in 2024 (see timeline below) and is being lead by the Downtown Plan Steering Committee.

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Latest Updates

Plan Draft

The first draft of the Beyond Tomorrow Downtown Plan is now viewable. BTDP Draft Plan CoverThe document is broken into multiple parts:

  • Part 1: Development Goals and Principles establishes the vision, goals and principles for the physical development of downtown.
  • Part 2: Policy Goals and Principles establishes the vision, goals, and principles for different elements of planning downtown.
  • Part 3: Implementation Plan takes the vision, goals, and principles established in Parts 1 and 2 and creates actionable steps to achieve and apply them.

There are also two appendices: 

  • Appendix A: Background Report is a summary of all the all the research and information gathered prior to development of the above three parts of this plan.
  • Appendix B: South Downtown Brownfield Study is a concurrent study of brownfield sites in the southern end of downtown, which is taken into consideration in looking at the greater vision, goals, and principles for development and policy in the area, established in the above three parts of this plan. This study was conducted by Stantec and funded by a grant received by the Flint Hills Regional Council. See more information on the South Downtown Brownfield Study website.

Note that there are placeholders for various Conceptual Projects and Vision Imagery throughout the draft plan document. We will continue developing these and present them during our next rounds of public engagement, expected to take place in March 2024. Sign up for in-touch notifications to stay informed on opportunities for input.

Project Timeline

BTDP Timeline

Project Chronology

Winter 2024

The first draft of the plan document was drafted, which included development and policy principles and goals for downtown based on the input and data from stakeholders, city boards and committees, the background report, and the general public as well as an implementation plan.

February 13: City Commission Work Session on First Draft of Plan

February 8: Manhattan Urban Area Planning Board Work Session on First Draft of Plan

Fall 2023Third Thursday Open House, Photo Courtesy of WIBW

October 19: Third Thursday Public Open House and District Visioning

October 2: First Draft of Background Report published.

September 28: Manhattan Urban Area Planning Board Work Session

September 12: City Commission Work Session

Summer 2023

Community Outreach: 

Annotation 2023-07-10 111808Throughout the 2023 summer, we met with the following groups and organizations to gather input and build consensus on the community vision for downtown. These meetings will inform the plan and build community support. Meetings took different forms including one-on-one conversations, focus-group-style questions, presentations, and mapping exercises.

  • Arts, entertainment, and placemaking representatives
  • Business owners via Downtown Manhattan Inc. and Chamber of Commerce
  • Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and HYPE
  • Community at-large and adjacent neighborhoods
  • Community and social service providers
  • Convention and visitors representatives
  • Developer and investor community
  • Downtown Farmer’s Market
  • Downtown Manhattan Inc.
  • Greater Manhattan Community Foundation committee
  • Kansas State University students, faculty, staff, and administration
  • Manhattan/Riley County Preservation Alliance
  • Manhattan Town Center Mall
  • Public housing representatives
  • Property owners
  • Realtors and real estate agents
  • Religious institutions

August 30: Downtown Plan Steering Committee holds its third meeting.

August 22: Downtown Plan Technical Committee holds its third meeting.

Spring 2023Phone with Survey

Research & Data: We continued gathering data on current conditions of the downtown area and topics like Planning Context, History, Land Use, Zoning, Demographics, Economic Conditions, Housing, Services, Building Design, Streetscape and Environment, Transportation, Utilities, and Public Safety.

Community & Business Survey: We launched the community survey asking the community about their experience in downtown and what they'd like to see happen in the future. About 1,800 responses were recorded. We also launched the business survey targeting business owners in the downtown area.

May 9: The City Commission held its first work session on the project.

April 26: Downtown Plan Steering Committee holds its second meeting.

April 19: Downtown Plan Technical Committee holds its second meeting.

Winter 2023

Stakeholder Meetings: We continued to meet with individual and group stakeholders to get preliminary input and guidance on the planning process.

February 27: First work session with the Historic Resources Board of Manhattan.

February 13: First work session with the Manhattan Urban Area Planning Board.

Fall 2022

December 16: Downtown Plan Steering Committee holds its first meeting.

December 7: Downtown Plan Technical Committee holds its first meeting.

November 15: City Commission appoints Downtown Plan Steering Committee members.

Summer 2022

Background Report: We began compiling data and began analysis to be included in the background report for the plan. It will take stock of existing conditions, assess recent and historical trends, and create benchmarks for measurable success in the future in critical matters. The report will also create a starting point for dialogue on the challenges and opportunities facing downtown which will lead to decisions about its future, informed by data and guided by community input. Below is the general area of interest for this report, referred to as the Study Area. This may not be the same as the “Plan Area”, which will be the primary area affected by policy recommendations and action steps and be established and finalized in the Beyond Tomorrow Plan Document. Study Area

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Questions? Email Ben Chmiel, Senior Planner, or call 785-587-2438