The Paducah Riverfront Development Advisory Board was created in 2017 by the Paducah Board of Commissioners. The Advisory Board assists and advises the Paducah Board of Commissioners in the development of civic projects and development plans which are intended to revitalize, improve, and generally enhance Paducah's riverfront.
The Board consists of five members appointed by the Mayor with the approval of a majority of the members of the Board of Commissioners. One member of the Paducah Board of Commissioners may be designated to serve as ex-officio to the Advisory Board.
Unless specified otherwise, the board meets at 1:15 p.m. in the City Commission Conference Room on the second floor of City Hall. The next meeting date has not been set.
The Paducah Riverfront Development Advisory Board has the following roles and functions:
The Paducah Commons Small Area Master Plan covers an approximately six square block area located on the Paducah riverfront between the Convention Center and the rehabilitated Schultz Park and transient dock. The site is key in that it exists adjacent to the Holiday Inn Paducah Riverfront which opened in 2017. The park will act as a major transition between Downtown Paducah and the Convention Center. The City is interested in how the space may be used as a new park and how the park may connect the Riverfront as a spur to private redevelopment in Lowertown and from the Convention Center to Downtown.
A master plan, which was completed in 2015, has the following goals:
The process was a collaborative effort between RATIO’s project design team and the Paducah riverfront stakeholders of neighborhood, community and business leaders.
At its July 10, 2018, meeting, the Paducah Board of Commissioners approved applying for the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Discretionary Grant. Applicants can apply for up to $25 million for transportation related projects that have a local and regional impact. The City of Paducah is partnering with the Paducah-McCracken County Port Authority to seek grant funds totaling $24,895, 759. The program of projects is called Riverfront to Riverport: Investing in Paducah’s Maritime Hub.
The Port Authority is seeking $10.8 million to construct a loading area for general cargo and containers. The City’s funding request, which totals slightly more than $12.6 million, would be used to construct a landing/excursion pier to provide a docking point for the steamboats that visit Paducah between April and December. This landing/excursion pier was identified as a project to enhance Paducah’s riverfront in the 2007 Riverfront Master Plan created by JJR. Also, the City’s funding would be used to develop the former Executive Inn site into the Paducah Commons. A master plan for that area was completed by RATIO Architects in 2015 with additional design work completed by Bacon Farmer Workman Engineering & Testing. Some of the Paducah Commons elements include a sculpture walk, vendor areas, a great lawn, a performance area, walkways, and seating.
If funded, the City would have until the summer of 2020 to begin construction.
In 2010, the PRDA engaged a multi-disciplinary planning, design, and market assessment team to develop the Renaissance Area Master Plan (RAMP) for downtown Paducah. The RAMP was funded by a 2009 Preserve America grant through the National Park Service that included a match from the City of Paducah. This initiative - covering the historic downtown core, the riverfront, and LowerTown - was designed with its primary mission to better link these three areas, in order to improve the market for each. The PRDA stressed this in its major outcome of the RAMP:
"It is important to the City to create a way for cultural and natural heritage tourists to be able to reach these three areas without interruption in order to be able to have a pleasant experience viewing and interacting with Paducah’s cultural and natural localities."
The RAMP is a comprehensive document that will be used as guidance for years to come. It was adopted by the former Paducah Riverfront Development Authority (PRDA) on March 20, 2012. The Paducah City Commission adopted a resolution accepting the plan on April 23, 2013. As stated in the resolution, the plan shall be used to guide development and make capital improvements. Every action item within the plan will require separate and specific implementation strategies by the City of Paducah, its agencies, and others. Approval of the resolution does not obligate the city to implement every action item proposed in the document. The city should remain opportunistic and react to proposals as resources become available.
To read the entire RAMP with incorporated amendments from 2013, visit Renaissance Area Master Plan.