ST. PETE BEACH — The public will have its first real chance to participate in planning aimed at transforming the aging Corey Avenue commercial district into what city officials hope will become a "vibrant downtown community."
Residents, business owners and merchants are invited to attend a series of meetings and workshops Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday:
•5-6 p.m., Tuesday — Overview of the Corey Avenue Enhancement Project and how it relates to the city's Community Redevelopment Area (City Hall Commission Chambers, 155 Corey Ave.).
•8:30-9:30 a.m. Wednesday — Breakfast Meet and Greet for local merchants, business owners and employees to discuss ideas about the district plan (City Hall Commission Chambers).
•9:30-10:30 a.m. Wednesday — Community walking tour in the Corey Avenue District for residents, property owners, merchants and other interested community members to identify areas of concern and ideas for improvement (tour begins at City Hall).
•10:30 a.m.-noon Wednesday — Community focus group discussion of the proposed downtown couplet traffic plan (second floor conference room, City Hall).
•6-8:30 p.m. Wednesday — Community workshop to explore ideas for improving the Corey Avenue District, the general vision for the area, urban design preferences, gateways and streetscaping (Community Center, 7701 Boca Ciega Drive).
•1-2 p.m. Thursday — Community walking tour with the focus on the potential to improve streetscaping, architectural styles, pedestrian circulation and public spaces (tour begins at City Hall).
•5-7 p.m. Thursday — City Commission workshop to discuss results of the week's meetings and community reaction.
•7-8 p.m. Thursday — Community walk through the Corey Avenue District (tour begins at City Hall).
A second set of workshops is tentatively planned for February.
When completed next summer, the Corey Avenue District plan will include conceptual designs that combine community visioning and planning and community input with new ideas developed by the consulting firm, Michael Baker Jr. Inc.