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Block party celebrates Penticton's downtown revitalization

Since February, work crews have been working along on a $1.25 million revitalization project  in Penticton
Since February, work crews have been working along on a $1.25 million revitalization project in Penticton's downtown core.
— image credit: Mark Brett/Western News

Work on the first phase of Penticton’s downtown revitalization project is drawing to a close, and city hall is throwing a party to celebrate.

The community is invited to check out the newly revitalized Westminster-Martin western gateway into downtown Penticton during a block party in the 200 Block of Martin Street set for June 21 during the regular Saturday market hours.

“Completing the western gateway to Downtown Penticton is a significant milestone for the revitalization project,” said Mayor Garry Litke. “Downtown revitalization is designed to inject new energy and investment into the community’s commercial core. The Westminster-Martin project has become a stimulus for additional economic activity in the area, and it’s exciting to see the vision of Council’s strategic priority come to life.”

For the first day of summer, the block party will make the downtown markets an event bigger event, extending along Nanaimo Avenue and onto the 200 block of Martin, where the new street will be open for pedestrian access. A ribbon cutting will be held at 10 a.m., with free cake while quantities last.

The Downtown Penticton western gateway project included new sidewalks, new lamp standards, energy-efficient lighting, banners, flower baskets, irrigation and street furniture along all three blocks. Along Martin Street, water infrastructure and connections to businesses will be improved and asphalt along the road will be replaced as well, and bollards were placed alongside the flexible parking space that offers businesses the opportunity to expand their retail space in a vibrant and cost-effective way.

A variety of the businesses along Westminster and Martin planning some special stalls to showcase both the redeveloped streetscape and  their goods, like Beads and Beyond on Westminster. On Martin Street, City Centre Fitness will host a free Rise Above Circuit Training Class starting at 9 a.m. on their new sidewalk for anyone looking for an outdoor workout. Pharaoh’s Men’s Hair Salon will welcome summer with discounted buzz cuts ($8) for men and wish braids for girls.

“We are so excited to see the relaunch of the Westminster-Martin project and to see the business owners enjoying their new storefront areas, all the extra activity on the street adds to the colour and vibrancy of our downtown,” said Kerri Milton, executive director of the Downtown Penticton Association.

The public is also invited to take part in planning future projects along Main Street.

A two-day charrette for the planned new park areas, the North and South Greens was held in early June with 40 residents, business owners, stakeholder organizations and youth to envision what the spaces could look like in the future. After site tours, intensive dialogue and working sessions, MMM Group has developed concepts for each park space featuring many of the suggestions and comments received during the charrette.

Two consultation sessions are scheduled for those concepts:

• Saturday, June 14 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the downtown market on Main Street

• Saturday, June 21 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the downtown block party celebration

More information about the project is available at www.penticton.ca/downtown.

 

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Community Events, October 2014

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