Downtown Mt. Pleasant’s Broadway Central set to reopen with new hybrid approach

Downtown Mt. Pleasant welcomes the summer of 2022 with the reopening of Broadway Central. 

The city of Mt. Pleasant began closing Broadway Street in order to accommodate civilians’ safety during the pandemic in 2020; however, many updates have surfaced since then. 

This year the city has decided to take a hybrid approach to adapt to the needs of both civilians and businesses. In previous years, local businesses had complained about the city shutting down Broadway Street due to this negatively impacting their volume of customers. 

The new hybrid approach includes Broadway St. remaining open to traffic, but still maintaining reserved parking spots for up to 24 picnic tables that will be protected by installed fences, shaded by market umbrellas, and lit by the ambience of Edison lights. 

Individual seating will also be included with Adirondack chairs scattered throughout the area, in addition to more trash cans to prepare for the increase in downtown life. 

The city is hoping to utilize this space to draw more visitors and to improve the prosperity of local businesses by responding to the requests of keeping Broadway St. open to traffic. 

Additionally, the city is planning on hosting many more events downtown in addition to the Saturday Farmers’ Market, such as the HBA Car Show, the For Arts Sake Show, the Craft Beer Festival, and other potential gatherings, like author events, ice cream socials, pet adoptions, a Chamber downtown Business After Hours block party, and more. 

To support local restaurants, the city has constructed a plan to have QR codes posted throughout the downtown area to make it easier for people to review different menu options. Furthermore, the city plans to install portable ADA ramps to make on-street dining spots universally accessible.

Michelle Sponsellor, Downtown Development Director, says the city is looking to designate a Social District in the near future — meaning the provided seating that summer brings would ultimately be required. 

Currently, the Mt. Pleasant City Commission’s approval is underway for the updates to Broadway Central. The budget of the project is $41,040, which will be funded by the Economic Initiatives Fund, Max and Emily’s Concert Series sponsorship, and 2022 budgeted funds. 

“We’re pleased to be able to provide the compromise for Broadway Central this year to offer a means of outdoor dining and minimize business disruptions,” says Sponsellor. “Look for updated amenities along Broadway this summer.”