Priority Action Item - Downtown

Objective - Downtown

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

Note: This was also a 2021 and 2022 City Commission Priority.

Lead Departments

Public Works

Downtown Priority Details

Expectations and Tactics
  • Continue to support the Main Street Board in achieving their goals for a thriving downtown.
  • Support the Main Street Economic Vitality Committee's effort to assist in encouraging occupancy in underutilized buildings.
  • Work closely with Weyland Ventures to meeting the City Block construction milestones in 2023.
  • Continue design process and pursue additional funding for the Riverfront BUILD Grant.
  • Focus on the beautification of downtown through upgraded amenities and landscaping.
Accomplishments - 2021 to present

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. Developer, Weyland Ventures, has securing project financing for the hotel portion of the project through Paducah Bank and has secured a construction contractor. During the construction period, a majority of the block will be closed to the public. Various downtown amenities including Art A La Carte and the horse carriage operations will be in alternate locations during construction.

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 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  Working with the State on Main Street accreditation standards and determining the training and education needs to for the Main Street Board to advance the program. The Main Street Board, committees, and merchant association continue to meet monthly to satisfy accreditation requirements.  A fiscal year 2022 work plan has been adopted. The Main Street Board is evaluating its committees to determine how to build program capacity and reenergize the Board.  The Board also 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.

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 and video were created in 2022 to help visitors more easily find a parking location downtown.  

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, key departments, and expectations by visiting Commission Priorities.