City officials begin talks with redeveloping city’s riverfront

Published 9:00 pm Friday, December 22, 2017

City officials met Wednesday with the head of the company that designed the re-development of the New Orleans Riverfront for a tour of Vicksburg’s waterfront and other areas along the river.

Officials discussed redeveloping the city’s waterfront area at City Front and other areas north and south along the Mississippi River, with Jose Alvarez, the principal member of the New Orleans architecture firm of Eskew Dumez Ripple, which designed the re-development of the New Orleans Riverfront area and Crescent Park, a riverfront park that opened in 2015.

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Mayor George Flaggs Jr. appointed a 20-member Riverfront Committee to examine improvements to the city’s waterfront. Committee members and the Board of Mayor and Aldermen in October went to New Orleans at Alvarez’s invitation to tour the Crescent City’s re-developed waterfront.

A plan to develop Vicksburg’s riverfront has already been proposed in the city’s comprehensive plan, which was released in 2015. Community development director Victor Grey-Lewis said the comprehensive plan led to Alvarez’s decision to meet with officials.

He said Alvarez, who had a client in the area, called him to discuss some planning issues, and the discussion led to several later discussions of the comprehensive plan, which includes a river walk from the WaterView Casino south to the Riverwalk Casino. During the discussion, Alvarez invited city officials to see the redeveloped riverfront in New Orleans.

Alvarez came to Vicksburg to see the city and discuss possible changes in the city’s waterfront area.

“We toured all downtown, all the riverfront, went to the industrial section all the way to Riverwalk Casino,” he said. “There are some nice opportunities down by the downtown area, (but) more challenging by the industrial area (along Levee Street). Oak (Street) seems as a promising pathway to connect north and south, and great visibility along the casino.”

A small group of officials, Grey-Lewis, city attorney Nancy Thomas, assistant public works director Jeff Richardson and Vicksburg Main Street executive director Kim Hopkins met with Alvarez after the tour to discuss ideas for the riverfront, but no plans were presented or reviewed.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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