In 2016, a public private partnership sparked the opportunity to develop and redevelop key parcels along the Waccamaw and in downtown Conway. Recognizing this important opportunity, The City of Conway commissioned the Riverfront and Downtown Master Plan. The plan is designed to provide a blueprint for the future of downtown Conway that recognizes that the City is facing perhaps the most important opportunity for thoughtful growth of the downtown in nearly a century.
Mahan Rykieil served as the urban planner with a team of experts to leverage investments, better connect the Riverfront with the commercial district, study long and short term goals, and study key gateways.
As one approaches Conway, it is not apparent that the city includes a vibrant, historic downtown and distinctive riverfront and riverwalk. Therefore, the master plan tackled ways to enhance the impressions one has of Conway from the highway network.
There is great potential for additional investment in downtown Conway that increases the vitality of the district as well as reinforces connections to the riverfront. Stakeholders in Conway often speak of the “downtown” and “riverfront” as two separate districts because they lack strong connections. The plan lays out strategies to reinforce Conway as a “riverfront downtown” rather than two separate districts.
As Conway continues to develop a vibrant, livable downtown, consideration needs to be given to enhancing physical connections to the downtown from the broader region, particularly to Coastal Carolina University. The City has been doing a good job at implementing sections of trails and bike paths with new development and has studied potential routes for connecting these segments into a comprehensive system.
Myrtle Beach Online highlights some of the plan in action in this article.