Bowling Green Downtown Redevelopment Plan
Bowling Green, KY
Bowling Green, a city of roughly 50,000 people, had seen its downtown decline over the previous 25 years due to rapid commercial growth on its suburban fringe. As with many other downtowns, Bowling Green's commercial district suffered from a declining tax base, a poor mix of first floor businesses, a lack of building reinvestment, confusing traffic circulation patterns, and an overall lack of identity. Residential neighborhoods surrounding the commercial district also declined and created additional disincentives for individuals to reinvest in the downtown.
RKG Associates developed a comprehensive strategy for Downtown Bowling Green, KY focused on urban revitalization. A city block, historically known as the “Circus Square Lot,” was rediscovered from historical city maps and designated as a new urban green space. This new town green was used as a catalyst for a neighborhood revitalization effort adjacent to the downtown commercial district. Since the Plan’s completion, a $250 million project, including a 4,000-seat minor-league baseball stadium and 790-space parking garage, has been proposed around Circus Square and would be funded largely by $25 million in city bonds.
In addition, a variety of upscale developments, including a downtown performing arts center, a boutique hotel, urban housing, and a new Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce building are being constructed on a 106-acre site stretching from the heart of Downtown to the campus of Western Kentucky University. The overall development was financed in part with $100 million in tax increment financing bonds.
Photo Credit: Patrick Heart