Wednesday, April 14th, 2021


Downtown Suffolk Design Workshops

The Suffolk Planning Department recently welcomed Benchmark Planning, a consulting firm hired by the city to update the Downtown Suffolk Initiatives Plan. They hosted a week of workshops called Design Downtown, during which they invited citizens to stop in, look at the maps and charts they compiled and share their ideas and concerns about the future of downtown. The week started and ended with standing-room-only meetings filled with citizens interested in seeing growth in the community.

City Manager Patrick Roberts kicks off the week with opening remarks to a packed room

People eagerly listening to the opening presentation

It was standing-room-only on the opening night of Design Downtown

Presenter Mia Byrd, Comprehensive Planning Manager Claire Jones, and Plaid Turnip owner, Ed Beardsley, listen from the window alcove

Daniel Douglas of Benchmark Planning

Suffolk resident Mia Byrd giving her presentation on the types of businesses that may be good for downtown

Eurnicka Artis, the owner of EA Tax Service, shares her concerns and experiences as a Suffolk business owner

Ralph Nahra, downtown real estate investor, was one of the four downtown residents and business owners to give a brief presentation

Daniel Douglas of Benchmark Planning

Kris Krider of Benchmark Planning

Kris Krider of Benchmark Planning

Jason Epley and Kris Krider of Benchmark Planning

Diners seated in the temporary pop-up outdoor dining area at The Plaid Turnip

People enjoying the temporary outdoor seating at Harper's Table, next to the site Design Downtown called home for the week

Restaurants on Main Street, such as The Plaid Turnip, created temporary outdoor seating areas — one of the proposed ideas

One of the midweek brainstorming sessions between city planners, consultants, and citizens