Downtown - Strategic Plan

Objective - Downtowndowntown icon

Concentrated effort to support, enhance, and improve our thriving downtown community.

Note: This has been a City Commission Priority since 2021.

Downtown Priority Details

Expectations and Tactics
  • Initiate construction and pursue additional funding for the Riverfront BUILD Grant.
  • Work closely with Weyland Ventures on next steps for City Block Project.
  • Continue process on activating the Downtown TIF District.
  • Focus on beautification through upgraded amenities and landscaping.
  • Focus on downtown business recruitment and retention. 
Accomplishments - 2021 to present

BUILD Grant  The design team for the BUILD grant project has met the 100 percent design goal. The team is preparing to present the project for construction bidding in mid-2024.  

Business Growth  In downtown Paducah, there was a net of 12 new businesses in 2021 and a net of 13 new businesses in 2022.  

Business Survey  A business feedback survey was released and completed in 2021. Overall responses were positive and encouraging. Businesses would like to see more beautification projects, improved sanitation, and a continuation in efforts to build the downtown audience.

City Block Project  City Block project has been designed and placed out to bid by developer, Weyland Ventures. A groundbreaking ceremony was held in January 2023 with Ray Black & Son breaking ground on the project in February 2023. This phase of the project includes the demolition of the existing parking lot, grading the site, and installing the public improvements. The City is committing approximately $3.6 million for the project's public facilities (Town Square) to include the promenade, greenspace, and parking. The public facilities of the project was completed in 2023.

Downtown Amenities  In 2023, the Planning and Public Works Departments selected new benches and trash receptacles for downtown. They have been ordered for installation in 2024.

Entertainment Destination Center  The City received in June 2021 approval from the State for an Entertainment Destination Center license. Started the First Friday Downtown Happy Hours and Cocktail Trail to promote the EDC and downtown businesses. 

Main Street America Accreditation Paducah Paducah Main Street learned in June 2022 that it has received designation from Main Street America™ as an Accredited Main Street America 2022 program. Paducah Main Street has met rigorous performance standards and is committed to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach™.  In 2021, Paducah’s downtown benefited from approximately $8.3 million in private investment with more than 40 jobs created. Additionally, the community contributed more than 6,600 volunteer hours toward downtown’s success.

Outdoor Dining and Entertainment  Dining at Market House Square returned for the summer and fall 2021. City passed a local municipal order to support the outdoor dining and expansion of sidewalk café area. The Parks & Recreation Department organized Street Beats with live music in 2021 and 2022. There have been several new events downtown in 2022 including Downtown Live, the return of the July 4th Celebration downtown, the Fourth Friday Cocktail Trail and Art Walk, a Downtown Fall Festival, and the Holiday Lighting Celebration with a new 20-foot tall Christmas tree.

Paducah Main Street  The Main Street Board, committees, and merchant association continue to meet monthly to satisfy accreditation requirements. The Board adopted a fiscal year 2022 work plan and held a strategic planning retreat in 2022. The Main Street Economic Vitality Committee has identified top priorities which include marketing materials, new incentives, and a downtown prospectus community event to showcase available properties. This committee also is coordinating with Greater Paducah Economic Development on a strategy to fill vacant real estate.

Paducah Riverfront Development Advisory Board  With the various downtown projects including City Block and the BUILD grant projects, the PRDA Board is being repopulated. Commission Sandra Wilson has been appointed as the Chair.

Parking  A downtown parking webpage and video were created in 2022 to help visitors more easily find parking locations.  

Tax Increment Financing (TIF)  The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (TIF) approved Paducah's Tax Increment Finance District (TIF) on March 25, 2021. The implementation is underway. City has collected questionnaires from local businesses to establish the local TIF baseline with the information now conducting a baseline analysis. 

Downtown Parking

Are you planning a trip to historic downtown Paducah?  More than 500 parking spaces are available in the heart of downtown along the streets. However, if you are looking for off-street parking, visit Downtown Parking to view the list of FREE public parking lots with more than 1000 total spaces.  Enjoy your visit to downtown Paducah!

Commission Priorities

Read all Commission Priorities and Continuous Improvement Items including each action item's objective and expectations by visiting Commission Priorities.