Community members recognized opportunity to foster new downtown development – specifically, redevelopment and expansion of the existing downtown building pattern for the Gilbo Avenue area between Main Street and School Street. Many community members are concerned that potential development in this area might not reflect the downtown’s existing built pattern. Opportunity to incorporate streetscape amenities along the Gilbo Avenue right of way was also a high priority to continue the feel of Keene’s Main Street.
For any infill development downtown, including but not limited to Gilbo Avenue, the community desires redevelopment that:
- Is similar to Keene’s traditional downtown streetscape layout and massing of buildings on upper Main Street
- Incorporates wide sidewalks
- Includes streetscape amenities such as street trees, benches, rain gardens, traffic calming bump-outs, pocket parks, etc.
- Supports a high level of pedestrian and bicyclist connectivity through effective use of bike lanes and pathways
- Allows for a mix of uses that includes retail, commercial, institutional, and residential components
- Increases density within the downtown core, fostering downtown vibrancy and supporting community goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create a walkable and bikeable community, encourage growth within the 9/10/12 Bypass, and protect valuable open space resources (such as Keene’s hillsides for their visual aesthetic and flood mitigation characteristics)
Other areas within the downtown core that could accommodate infill development include the Emerald Street and Railroad Square area, and areas around Winchester, Marlboro and West streets.