Our Opinion: Writing off downtown not an option | NevadaAppeal.com

Our Opinion: Writing off downtown not an option

Back when a bypass around downtown Carson City was first proposed, businesses along the Highway 395 corridor were understandably reluctant to support it. It didn’t require a degree in city planning to see that if people could go around downtown, they might not stop at businesses located there.

But years of gridlock forced the city’s hand and it acquiesced, and even contributed to the construction of the freeway.

Carson Street is clearer these days, but we’re beginning to detect the migration of business away from the northern end of town toward where the freeway will eventually end in the south.

We can’t blame the death of Kmart on the freeway, nor the continued struggle to open the Ormsby House.

But once the freeway is completed, even more traffic is going to be diverted away from central Carson City, and that means we need something to draw people downtown. Just writing off the center of our city is not an option.

There has been a lot of controversy around the City Center Project, with some prominent residents saying it smacks of a bailout and others confident in its ability to improve our community.

The project is still in development. There isn’t enough information for us to say whether City Center is the best idea to help revitalize downtown Carson City. But we applaud those who develop big ideas for our community.

If City Center prompts someone else to come up with a better plan, then the project and the public process have been a success.