A town's center is the location that brings a community together. It is primarily a commercial center that serves residents and visitors alike.
With a plan in place to guide its direction, a town's center can become the heart of a community, a place of diverse interests that converge in one location and that connects with everyone else.
The original development plan for Lake Lure, adopted in the late 1920s, actually commissioned what we know as the Town Center today to be the focal point for the community and commerce.
The Town Center was originally designed to be the largest, most intensively developed, mixed use area within the town. The 1926 Plan included retail, service, civic, professional, cultural and recreational uses. The plan specifically identified locations for residential lots, hotels, motels, community buildings and transportation facilities.
But only a few of the buildings proposed in that plan were constructed before the stock market crashed in 1929.
For the last 80 years, the Lake Lure Town Center has grown slowly without clear, coordinated guidance.
Due to the culmination of several overlapping factors occurring in and around the Town Center, a thoughtful plan for the growth of this strategic location is more important than ever.
Without a Town Center Master Plan to guide development in response to these changes, the Town Center will be plagued with traffic congestion, insufficient infrastructure and piecemeal development. Worse still, the town and region will lose revenues and suffer from disinvestment due to negative impacts of growth arising from a re-energized but unmanaged tourism-based economy.
Once completed, the Town Center Master Plan will provide a well coordinated, unified strategy for redeveloping and revitalizing the Town Center by creating a mixed use, environmentally and economically sustainable Town Center with a strong sense of place.
It will serve as a value proposition, inviting investors, entrepreneurs, developers and business owners as partners in creating a vibrant mixed-use Town Center, where shopping, dining, education and outdoor recreation are at the forefront. A well planned Town Center will foster economic opportunities with strong ties to our natural assets.