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Dickinson officials hire studio for downtown plan

Dickinson city officials are banking on an outside perspective to revitalize downtown and the city's renaissance zone.

The services of Gary Reddick and his V3 Studio Architecture, from Portland, Ore., were retained with a unanimous vote Monday by the City Commission during its regular meeting at City Hall. Reddick will create a master plan for downtown Dickinson, expected to cost $17,500.

"A healthy downtown serves as the core of every successful community," City Administrator Shawn Kessel said.

V3 also has been hired by Minot to help develop its downtown area.

Part of the services include conceptual models and designs that combine computer animation with photographs to give the viewer a true idea of what the area would look like with the proposed buildings.

"The modeling that he used in Minot was between 3D drawing and some actual photographs," Commission President Dennis Johnson said. "Marrying that technology together, he could show you here's what it looks like today. If you do this, here's what it will look like tomorrow."

Funding to hire Reddick and V3 could come from general funds, but it could also come from sales or hospitality taxes, Kessel said.

"Personally, I think it'd be worth the $17,000-$18,000 investment," Johnson said. "In a sense, get kind of a vision of what the downtown could be."

Fewer cars and more parks and green spaces are a few things JP Frameshop & Western Edge Gallery owner Peggy Anderson would like to see near her business.

"I wish there were more stores downtown instead of offices," she said Tuesday. "In reality, I think downtown is sort of full, but it's full of offices."

Downtown has attracted more pedestrian traffic as more people move to the area, Anderson said.

"I was very impressed with the blending in of the pedestrian -- how a downtown should function, as a pedestrian corridor, but also integrating the necessary required parking that would be there."

Bogey's owner Jacki Thomas would like to see more parking downtown.

"They drive around the block a couple times and, especially for the older people who like to come in here for the soup, they drive around the block a couple times and if there's no place to park, they'll go somewhere else," she said Tuesday.

Maintaining the historic buildings and qualities of downtown is also important to Thomas, she said.

One of the things that impressed Kessel was the way Reddick was able to disguise and accommodate parking in an attractive way.

"In some cases, he's used underground parking and actually built a park on top of where the parking is," Johnson said. "You don't even know you have underground parking there."

In his proposal to the city, Reddick would like to get started with the modeling process as soon as possible and have a presentation ready in about two weeks.

As of Tuesday afternoon, he had not gotten an official call. He preferred not to comment until that call was made.

To view the Imagine Minot presentation and other examples of Reddick's work visit http://www.v3-studio.com/suw/index.html.

Katherine Grandstrand
I graduated from Bemidji State University in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in mass communcations, from Columbia College Chicago in 2009 with a master's degree in journalism.  
(701) 456-1206
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