Oroville Master Plan
Located on the Feather River in northern California, downtown Oroville is a unique place with an intact framework of historic buildings and spaces dating from the California Gold Rush. Despite an economic decline since the 1970s, an abundance of arts, cultural and entertainment destinations remained such as the State Theater, the Centennial Cultural Center, the Pioneer Museum, the Chinese Temple and Museum and others.
However, these assets are spread over a wide area and did not establish a critical, connected mass of activity that could strengthen the image and economy of the downtown district. The City of Oroville undertook a planning process to establish a defined Arts, Culture and Entertainment District that also supported business efforts. The result was a plan to guide future development in the downtown area and:
1. Establish the district as a safe and vibrant destination to enjoy shopping, dining, museums, and live entertainment
2. Stimulate economic activity in the district
3. Strengthen, preserve and protect existing surrounding historic neighborhoods
4. Enhance the district’s connectivity with the adjacent Feather River
Oroville’s traditional pedestrian-oriented Main Street was re-imagined as Myers Street Arts Plaza, and connects to the Town Square, which has become a new “heart” of activities in the historic downtown area. A multi-block open space, which links elements of the District together, was identified as a setting for activities today and potential new development. Additionally, the Feather River, which is by far the strongest natural feature influencing the shape of the downtown district, was identified as an opportunity for enhanced residential, recreational, and retail uses in order to support 24-hour activity to the area.
The plan was developed based on market studies, stakeholder interviews, workshops and surveys. The team also assessed the depth of the local and regional market to estimate potential support for a critical mass of arts and cultural activities in the downtown. Its implementation strategy incorporates representation from the city, local arts organizations, the business community and community volunteers.
Subconsultants on the project include BAE Urban Economics and Wood Rogers Transportation and Engineering Group.
2014 Award of Excellence from the Sacramento Valley Chapter of the American Planning Association, Economic Development category