Newton Streetscape Revitalization Project
Newton has completed the first two phases of the Newton Streetscape Revitalization Project.
The project represents the largest infrastructure investment in Newton in generations and is helping the city build its brilliant legacy into a bright future. Similar projects across country indicate that municipal investments in infrastructure and streetscapes yield a return in private investment many times larger than the initial municipal investment.
The project will be completed in phases, and each phase will be completed before the next phase is begun.
Each phase of the Newton Streetscape Revitalization Project includes replacement of outdated underground utilities and infrastructure, such as water lines, sewer lines, electric lines, fiber lines and cable lines. Above ground improvements include newly paved travel lanes, bike lanes, and parking; widened paver sidewalks; decorative lights and poles; street trees; benches; and trash and recycle bins.
Construction on the first phase of the project on Main Avenue began in July 2018 and was completed in June 2019. The first phase included the addition of the Frank & Sue Jones Amphitheatre across from the 1924 Courthouse, which is the perfect setting for outdoor concerts and performances. The amphitheatre was funded thanks to a generous bequest from the estate of Sue Jones.
Construction on the second phase of the project on A Street began in January 2020 and was completed in June 2020. The second phase included significant enhancements to Yount Park at the intersection of College Avenue and A Street. The park was doubled in size to allow for a new performance space and greater accessibility. New landscaping and pavers have made the space more inviting to residents and visitors.
City staff worked with contractors and businesses to ensure customers could easily access all affected businesses during construction. At times when sidewalks had to be closed, the street was open to pedestrians.
There are almost 700 parking spaces in Downtown Newton, and the city has continued to add more public parking spaces during the last several years. As Downtown Newton becomes more robust and a more popular destination for people and new businesses, there is more demand for parking. This is a challenge that every
downtown faces as economic growth occurs.
Because of the need for additional parking, the city has transitioned three formerly leased lots into free public parking. These lots—at the corner of B Street and College Avenue (26 spaces), at the corner of 2nd Street and Main Avenue (26 spaces), and on Ashe Avenue at 2nd Street (87 spaces)—opened a total of 139 free public parking spaces. The city continues to find new ways to increase available public parking and enhance the walkability of Downtown Newton.
In an effort to help residents and visitors find parking during construction, the city has created an interactive map that shows the locations of public parking spaces throughout the downtown area.
Newton City Council adopted the Newton Streetscape Master Plan in January 2016. The plan was developed after extensive public input through public meetings, online surveys, and one-on-one interviews.
The Newton Streetscape Revitalization Project has progressed into a citywide effort to build on Newton’s brilliant legacy by planning for a bright future of growth and success not just in Downtown Newton, but throughout the entire community.
The city introduced residents and visitors to streetscape improvements with a demonstration project in October 2016. The demonstration, which was installed with help from students at Discovery High School, featured temporarily widened sidewalks, modified parking and traffic flow, and landscaping. Visitors had the chance to walk through the demonstration and experience how enhanced sidewalks and other amenities of the project are now making Downtown Newton more enjoyable for residents, visitors, and businesses. View photos of the demonstration project on the city's Facebook page.
By focusing on the heart of the city, people in Newton and surrounding communities have begun to take notice, visit, shop, dine, and take renewed pride in our community. Completed streetscape projects across country indicate that similar municipal investments yield a return in private investment many times larger than the initial municipal investment.
To help you visualize the project, we've created a set of interactive renderings that show what Downtown Newton will look like after construction is completed. Click here to view.
For detailed information, view the Newton Streetscape and North Newton Master Plan. You may also view a presentation delivered to City Council about the project.
For more information, please contact Public Information Officer Alex Frick at 828-695-4266 or email@example.com.
Public Investment Yields Private Investment Panel Discussion
In this panel discussion from The Chamber of Catawba County, Newton business owners discuss ways the city's public investment through the Newton Streetscape Revitalization Project has yielded significant private investment.