Soledad Downtown Specific Plan - Soledad, California
Restored mixed-use building and new hotel on Front Street
Planned transit plaza for future Amtrak Station at Front and Main
New street connection from downtown to Vosti Park with civic building and new housing
Regulating plan for new form-based zoning
In association with Lisa Wise Consulting and Raimi + Associates, Sargent Town Planning was retained by the City of Soledad to prepare a vision plan and updated Specific Plan for their historic downtown. Like so many California railroad towns, Soledad's downtown is focused on a "one-sided Main Street" with historic commercial buildings along one side with now-vacant former packinghouse lots across the street. And unlike typical railroad towns, Soledad's Front Street - former Highway 101 - is adjacent to and very visible from Interstate 101. However that access routes from the interstate into downtown are disorienting and do not project the image of a small town.
After intensive analysis of existing conditions and historic develpment patterns, the team conducted a 4-day public design charrette in a shopfront on Front Street, developing a conceptual urban plan addressing: access and image from the freeway; new infill development along the railroad side of the street to generate a two-sided "main street"; a new multi-modal transportation center and Station Plaza at the center of the district; new street and pedestrian connections from Front Street to a existing major park; and a new hotel and movie theater in the Downtown core, which otherwise would be attracted to remote freeway interchange sites. The Specific Plan was updated based on the new vision plan, and a form-based development code prepared to ensure that future public and private improvements implement that vision. The Plan was unanimously adopted by the Planning Commission and City Council, and in 2014 was received an Honorable Mention from the Form-Based Codes Institute as an exemplary small town development code.