It's been nearly two years in the planning stage, with input gathered from dozens of city and community leaders.
This afternoon, ideas generated from a review of the strategic master plan for the downtown area of Columbus will be presented to a group of city and community leaders.
Uptown Columbus and urban-planning consultant EDSA will go over the plan and ask for final input from special guests who have been invited to the presentation.
"What they'll be unveiling is Uptown's riverfront area," said Marquette McKnight, chief executive officer of Media Marketing and More!, the agency assisting Uptown with publicity on the effort.
Those on hand will include "stakeholders" in the central business district that overlooks the Chattahoochee River, a stretch of the waterway that is now being transformed into a recreational whitewater course.
Aside from city officials, the W.C. Bradley Co. and Columbus State University will have representatives at the meeting, which will take place in the CB&T Community Room on Broadway. Those looking to invest in the area also will be there.
"There will be plenty of development opportunities, which could be the private sector, it could be private-public partnerships," McKnight said. "It's not necessarily things that Uptown is going to do. They're just going to be the facilitator for allowing private investors -- as they've always had the opportunity, obviously -- to make money in Uptown."
In previous visits to the city, EDSA, which has offices in Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Baltimore, Md., and Beijing, China, has talked with business people, developers and government officials.
That included a brainstorming session of sorts in the spring of 2011, when ideas tossed about included selling food and beverages on the RiverWalk, attracting more people to live downtown, making sure the area is safe, and coming up with family-oriented things to do. There even was the mention that more shade trees were needed.
Several hundred million dollars have been invested in the downtown area since the last major strategic plan was created and launched in 1999. Fruits of that investment include the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts, CSU's RiverPark campus, Eagle & Phenix loft condos and apartments developed by W.C. Bradley, and the streetscape beautification by the city. That 1999 plan, developed by LDR International, called for more restaurants, retail stores and entertainment venues downtown.
It also included developing the upper floors of existing buildings and improving the overall appearance of structure facades.
In a recent discussion on the RiverCenter's 10th anniversary, retired Columbus State University President Frank Brown remarked that the city's penchant for matching public and private interests with money to fund new ideas has been a "partnership model that other cities have envied, and that's been one of our greatest advantages."
He also believes arts and theater and music all need to be a part of the downtown revitalization that continues to be a work in progress.
"There's discussion now, particularly among the folks who own property downtown and who see what the arts have done for downtown already, that as we continue northward on the 1100 and 1200 block of Broadway, it's just an ideal place for more arts-related activities," Brown said. "It's kind of become the horse we're riding, and it's a good one.