Plans drafted to revamp Paducah’s Riverfront

Plans to revamp a dead area near Paducah’s riverfront are in the works. The Paducah Riverfront Development Authority is trying to turn an area in between Schultz Park and the Paducah Convention Center into a park space everyone can use. 

About a month ago, the group contracted Ratio, an Indianapolis multidisciplinary design firm, to use the space as a way to connect Schultz park, downtown’s future Hilton Garden Inn, and the convention center’s showroom together.

Friday, Ratio revealed three different ways to develop the area. The plans included different ideas such as a nature walkway, a play zone for children, a gaming area which could include games like ping-pong or corn hole and, a curb-less parking plaza that could be blocked off to double as an event space.

Riverfront board member Sandra Wilson said these ideas could lure more people to Paducah’s riverfront.

“You know, where people who aren’t just putting a boat in can use it, but people can stand and look at it, and there can be festivals too,” Wilson said. 

Ratio Principal John Jackson emphasized the importance of offering activities for every age.

“The most successful public spaces are appealing to a wide range of people. You’d like to go to a park and see two-year-olds and 90-year-olds,” Jackson said.

According to Jackson, Ratio will be working on a new plan based on ideas board members liked from Friday’s three initial plans. Several Riverfront Development Authority members plan on going to Indianapolis next month to take a look at some ideas Ratio’s implemented along their waterfront.

The design firm suggested other ideas for development, such as turning downtown’s one way roads into two-way lanes. They also mentioned taking control over a former convalescent center for future riverfront developments.

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