City of Ames Moves Forward on Downtown Plaza

News

City of Ames Moves Forward on Downtown Plaza

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Our firm , working for the City of Ames, has begun design work to bring much-needed green space and activation to downtown Ames at Clark Avenue between 5th and 6th Streets. Ames City Council approved Confluence’s contract for the design on July 27. Construction is slated to start in 2022 with expected completion in 2023.

“We’re taking an underutilized surface lot and transforming it into a vital community asset for our residents,” said Kelly Diekmann, Planning and Housing Director for the City of Ames. “This parcel has long been on the City’s list of priorities for redevelopment, and we are thrilled to see it underway. With the focus on public art, small gatherings, water features, and winter ice skating, the Plaza will provide an ideal complement to our existing businesses and public spaces.” 

A component of the City's pursuit of an Iowa Reinvestment District designation, the redevelopment of the plaza further supports the City Council’s 2020 goals for stronger downtown with a fun and vibrant open space that attracts and retains residents. The design concept is intended to provide multi-seasonal attractions in the heart of Downtown.

The initial concept for the new 1-acre plaza was unveiled for public comment earlier this year. Throughout a robust engagement period, residents identified water features, space for food trucks, and small festivals – along with the public facilities to support them – as top priorities. 

The Plaza’s design will evoke a natural feel, with lines that blend with the landscape, winding paths, and lush greenery. The new design includes a water runnel – the community’s top choice for a water feature – as well as bubbling water element for children to enjoy in the summer. Public art and sculptures from local artists are additionally planned throughout the park. The design also includes the ability to transition into a winter recreational skating facility with a unique ribbon design. 

“At Confluence, we believe the best design recognizes a community’s needs now and helps them prepare for the future, and that’s exactly what our design for the Ames Downtown Plaza accomplishes,” said Matt Carlile, Confluence principal. “Not only will this project create an immediate benefit for the residents of this area, activating the downtown area will help the City attract new businesses and investment down the road. It’s a win for everyone.”

Partners on this project include Bishop Engineering (Civil), KCL Engineering (MEP), Studio Melee (Architecture), American Arena (ICE), and Aquatic Design Group (Fountain).

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