The Downstowns Master Plan

The Downtowns Master Plan is a dynamic long-range vision for the development of the City of Miramichi’s two unique downtown cores; the Newcastle Business District and the Historic Chatham Business District.

The report was accepted by Miramichi City Council in January 2020 and was the result of a lengthy process that involved numerous public consultations including presentations with community business organizations and business leaders. The resulting vision includes public infrastructure projects coupled with private development concepts that focuses on six pillars of the Miramichi Downtowns Experience.

The City of Miramichi has consistently invested in various types of infrastructure projects throughout the municipality, however this plan features an emphasis on pairing certain long-term developments with specific private sector developments. Increasing residential development within the downtown cores has been a priority for many municipalities, including Miramichi. One of the focal points of this plan includes the creation of tools and policies that cannot only attract developers to these two key areas of the City but also assist them in developing efficient and cost-effective housing units within the downtowns.

The Plan also outlines priority-based lists of public infrastructure improvements to the downtowns that can assist in creating vibrant downtowns. These projects will be reviewed by City staff on an annual basis to determine their suitability for budgetary consideration. An important element in this process is whether the project can be used as a value-added consideration for a private development proposal. Using public infrastructure projects as a catalyst for private development is a tenant of the Downtowns Master Plan. This allows the City to leverage its investment to provide not only a community benefit for the project involved but also a financial ROI through the private investment that the project motivated or assisted.

Strategic planning has been the focal point of many municipal policies and initiatives over the last number of years. These plans and strategies cannot be looked at as ends in themselves but as a cohesive foundation of growth and development for the City. Many of these strategies have already resulted in investment and programs that can assist the City to grow and prosper. Some of these programs are highlighted in this issue of EcDev News. You can read more about the Downtowns Master Plan here.