The Courtyard Project came about because we are all eager for increased seating in our Downtown. Last Fall, the Mayor requested that the Town Planner, Lynn Thomas, revisit some prior studies to determine if there could be an investment made in the two interior “courtyards” between Dover, Goldsborough, Harrison, and Washington streets. Lynn’s Report intended to provide some historical background and context for those who may not be familiar with the project, gauge the level of interest and feasibility of revisiting the project, and, assuming it was determined to be worth pursuing, identify the critical next steps to making the project a reality. Bob Greenlee, who wrote an excellent op-ed on the project–and I served on Lynn Thomas’ committee, among others.
After initial discussions, stakeholders convened to review the Report. The consensus of the Report and the group was that the project remains a worthy one today. The main steps for implementation were to look at a possible phased approach by initially focusing on what the Report describes as the “Scossa Courtyard” (as it is mainly located behind the restaurant of the same name), accessed via the Shore United Courtyard and to:
- Determine a design for the Courtyard (that is, just what would be built in the “common” space), and
- Determine the ownership/management structure that would have the highest likelihood for the project’s ultimate sustained success.
As a committee member, I took Jeff Lankford to meet with property and business owners. We determined that no retailer had a driving need to orient their business toward the back toward the Courtyard, which we felt was essential to secure this Courtyard’s safety. A large-scale capital investment, worthy as it may be, requires planning, community engagement, and private market interests. We still believe that the Courtyard project, both phase one and phase two, is a viable project for the town of Easton in the years to come.
Inner Courtyard Project – A 2020 Reassessment Here