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).
As we wrap up the summer, we will be compiling the input and data into a background report, which will inform the plan. The report will be published here soon. We have kicked off the development strategy phase of the plan, which will address the community vision for how and where downtown might grow in the future. Working with our steering and technical committee, scenarios will be developed and vetted with the community. We are coordinating with Downtown to host an open house in the district on October 19th in conjunction with Third Thursday to vet some of the concepts with the community. Sign up for in-touch notifications to stay in the loop.
South Downtown Brownfield Study
The Flint Hills Regional Council received a Brownfield Community-Wide Assessment Grant to fund an environmental conditions and planning study, which will be used to study and develop a plan for the south end area of downtown. This will be a sub-plan of the Beyond Tomorrow Downtown Plan, which will address brownfield areas in the southern end of the downtown study area. See more information on the South Downtown Brownfield Study website.
September 12: City Commission Work Session
September 28: Manhattan Urban Area Planning Board Work Session
Throughout 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 22: Downtown Plan Technical Committee holds its third meeting.
August 30: Downtown Plan Steering Committee holds its third meeting.
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.
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.
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.
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.