Staff report

The City of Dothan’s efforts to redesign the downtown core and the Highway 84 East corridor have been recognized by the Alabama Chapter of the American Planning Association.

Dothan was recently selected to receive the 2022 Franklin M. Setzer Urban Design Award. The award, nominated by the Wiregrass Foundation, will be presented at this year’s chapter annual conference in Orange Beach.

The prize is awarded in memory of Frank Setzer, the former director of the Center for Architectural and Urban Studies at Auburn University in Birmingham and rewards projects in which design is an integral part of the planning process and is a major concern of the built environment.

While acknowledging more than six years of planning focused on the Highway 84 East Corridor, the award specifically recognizes the work being done to reinvent downtown Dothan, according to a news release. The “Dothan Town Center Design and Redevelopment Plan,” according to the statement, presents a powerful urban design plan that skillfully links the architecture of yesteryear with new and varied design plans to suit the downtown revitalization.

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On Tuesday, a public comment meeting was held at the Wiregrass Museum of Art for part of Downtown Phase I – a pedestrian plaza that creates a visual line from Foster Street to St. Andrews Street, creating spaces pedestrian-friendly open spaces in downtown with water features, seating, shade, landscaping, and an outdoor amphitheater.

Other aspects of the city center project include an addition to Dothan Opera House, an arts and innovation center and an events arena. Early plans also dedicate space for a downtown parking deck and boutique hotel.

A new overlay district for Highway 84 East establishes long-term planning, design, and zoning for a corridor that runs through downtown and ends at the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine. The concept of the corridor is to create opportunities for people to live, play and work in the same area of ​​the city.