In August, 2007, Missouri Governor Matt Blunt announced that Sikeston was named as one of the Missouri Dept. of Economic Development’s DREAM cities along with nine other communities. Sikeston’s DREAM designation will help the community reach its goal of re-establishing Downtown Sikeston as a retail and social center of the city. The community will work with the Historic Midtown Development Group in making transportation and streetscape improvements, developing programs to promote business retention and expansion, and working to preserve their historic buildings.
D.R.E.A.M. , which stands for Downtown Revitalization and Economic Assistance for Missouri, is a new initiative that allows for select communities access to the technical and financial assistance necessary to accomplish their downtown revitalization plans.
Before Sikeston was chosen the city had already been busy by identifying the Historical Midtown Development Group as the organization to spearhead the revitalization process and the completion of a land use and building survey by an urban consulting firm. Professional retail consultants meet with our local merchants to get an understanding of our retail environment downtown. From that they developed a survey which members of HMDG, the city, and community volunteers will be conducting over the next six months.
An example of Sikeston’s proactive attitude is the successful application for a transportation enhancement grant by the city, HMDG and the Board of Municipal Utilities. The grant is being used to install new sidewalks and crosswalks, period lighting and street furnishings such as benches, planters and nice-looking trash receptacles.
The enhancements using this grant are:
Sidewalks replaced along both sides of Front St. from Scott St. to N. Kingshighway and then north along both sides of N. Kingshighway to North St.
The crosswalks along this same route consist of the street brick being removed and replaced with concrete to provide a smoother walking surface.
All crosswalks and sidewalks constructed to meet handicap requirements.
38 Historic street lights installed along this route.
Benches and trash receptacles placed along the route.
Several block outs in various areas installed for the placement of ornamental trees
Street corners, and islands along this route that remain a green area landscaped
DREAM Streetscape Renderings Released
Representatives from Sikeston’s DREAM consultants presented conceptual renderings of improvements to Legion Park, the Depot parking lot, and Downtown Sikeston’s commercial streetscape. Information from local focus groups and public meetings had been compiled over a six-month period to create these renderings.
Revitalization of Sikeston’s Downtown as a specialized retail and cultural area has motivated these efforts. Improving the quality of public areas is just one aspect of the total revitalization project that seeks to increase the economic vitality of Downtown Sikeston.
Representatives of the City Council, Sikeston Cultural Development Group, Inc. and the Historic Midtown Development Group, Inc. will be meeting to develop a consensus on future improvements to Downtown public areas, and action steps for their implementation. Comments and suggestions from the public are welcomed and may be emailed to email@example.com.