The Conway community is invited to make their voices heard at the Jump Start Markham Street Community Visioning Workshop Monday night at 6 at the Conway Chamber of Commerce.

The City of Conway was awarded a $180,000 Jump Start grant from MetroPlan to develop a visioning plan for Markham Street. The grant will also be used to conduct research studies that will give developers the tools and information they need to revitalize the area.

"This is more of a city collaboration process," said Scott Grummer, community block grant project manager. "We’re just facilitating this design process. It’s up to investors and developers who are interested in growing the city."

Gateway Planning, a professional planning consultant company from Dallas that provides town-planning, transportation-design and economic-development services, will be facilitating Monday’s workshop.

"The public meeting is meant to set the stage for the next several months when [Gateway Planning] will be putting together design concepts," Grummer said.

The consultant firm will be giving a presentation on the findings of their existing conditions assessment thus far, which they hope to complete while they are in Conway.

In addition to the community meeting Monday night, Gateway Planning will be meeting with business and home owners, banks and lawyers, developers and city staff throughout the day gathering more information to finish their existing conditions assessment.

"We started by pulling together collaborators and partners who have strategized about what they’d like to see," Grummer said. "Now we need the public to help steer our vision to what Markham Street could look like."

Monday’s Community Visioning Workshop will be the only meeting held before Gateway Planning comes back in the Spring with suggested development plans.

When the firm returns, sometime in February or March, it will present the community with 3-D visioning presentations based on information provided by the public.

"It will be a very interactive design giving the public the ability to really see what it will look like based on suggestions," Grummer said.

At this time, additional community feedback will be gathered and the plans will be reassessed.

Grummer said right now, Markham Street is surrounded by single family houses, but as the city grows, densities have to increase, and the community needs to think about what that might look like or if Markham Street is the right place for multifamily housing.

Other issues and amenities to think about include parks, parking, taxes, speed limits and types of business, Grummer said.

For links to better understand the nature of urban development and city growth, visit

(Staff writer Michelle Corbet can be reached by email at or by phone at 505-1215. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to Send us your news at