On the heels of $1M gift from Dow, RFP being readied for Center City development plan in Midland

Midland is getting serious about reinvigorating the Center City district. The Center City Authority has given itself one more week to make any changes to a Request for Proposal for redevelopment plans for the district, and then the RFP will officially be issued.

In order to be considered, the development committee wants RFPs returned by May 8.

"It's an aggressive timeline but we want to get this project going," says Sharon Mortensen, a member of the Center City Authority board and Chair of the development committee. Mortensen is also President and CEO of the Midland Area Community Foundation.

One of the reasons that Midland's Center City project is being pursued in earnest is a November 2017 gift of $1 million from Dow Chemical Company. Ashman Circle -- historically the heart of Center City -- is viewed as both a gateway to Dow and Downtown Midland.

Officials are looking for ways to make the most out of the $1 million gift. While a consultant may be hired, the bulk of the money will be spent on enhancements. Mortensen says possible targets include better branding, improved infrastructure and traffic flow, sustainability efforts, commercial and residential developments, and destination places.

A potential development plan for the district can be traced back to 2002, when the Ashman Circle Enhancement Plan was released. The plan, which sought to make the district a more vibrant and commercially viable place by reconfiguring the traffic infrastructure around and through the traffic circle, could still become the base from which the 2018 plan is built.

"This area needs to be attractive to businesses. We need to freshen it up," says Mortensen. "It's an area where so many people drive through every day."

"We want it to reflect the beauty of our community."

Click here to view the original Ashman Circle Enhancement Plan.

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