The Summerside Port Corporation has a dream for the city’s waterfront.
Now the group is ready to share their dream with any citizens interested in developing one of the city’s biggest assets – the waterfront.
The Port Corporation has scheduled a public presentation for May 1 to reveal and explain its vision for the future.
The Journal Pioneer was privy to a sneak preview of their presentation in the form of a conceptual video of a transformed downtown Summerside landscape.
It is impressive.
This concept plan and report was compiled by a design firm from Halifax. It shows many large buildings, parkades, and expanded marinas added to the city’s waterscape. In areas where this is ugly parking lots now, there are beautiful green spaces. A new outdoor concert venue is included. Some streets are closed to traffic and used to create pedestrian malls full of shops and restaurants.
The concept shows how the waterfront area could become the hub of the city once again, as it was in the days of the shipbuilding era when this was a busy port.
The Port Corporation commissioned this report because its members see the city’s expansive waterfront as a source of economic development. Even though this is not a concrete plan and there is no money in place to build the infrastructure, it is a concept drawing of what the city has the potential to become in 25 years.
If the city were to transform, even partially, into what the design team have envisioned, it would certainly draw more visitors, more business owners, and more residents to this city.
It helps that one of the design team members is originally from Summerside, but the team encompassed the ideas and feedback they received from local businesses and citizens. They sought input from the people who live and work here to see how they would like their city to be transformed.
Whether any or all of these plans become reality in 25 years, remains to be seen. The only thing for certain is that Summerside’s waterfront area will certainly look different than it does now, just as it looks different now than it did 25 years ago.
Hopefully it will look more like the port corporation’s concept plan and not have more parking lots and vacant buildings instead.
It is encouraging to see that there is now a plan – a direction, something to inspire future development.
All who have a vested interest in this city’s future should at least go see the plan being presented May 1 at the Loyalist Country Inn and be part of the movement to cultivate a whole new vibe and excitement around the waterfront.