Monday, May 26, 2014

What's in a Name? Meet Me in Midtown.

 Over the past few weeks some of us have been brainstorming around creative ways to revitalize our downtown Newton  centre. As one person so eloquently put it, 'the neighbourhood has some scars, but we're resilient and the will to see positive things happen here has never been greater". So, it got us thinking about the name Newton.  Has the time come to rebrand the Newton Town Centre , (whose boundaries are now set with the newly formed  Newton BIA ) in much the  same way  Downtown Whalley has been renamed City Centre? We think there's a very strong case to do so. Like Whalley,to some people the name Newton doesn't conjure feelings of excitement and respect and it's not doing our  business community any favours.  

Since Newton is the geographic centre i.e. middle of the city of Surrey why not call it that?
Midtown

Anyone who has spent time in Manhattan has no doubt wandered the busy Midtown area. It's vibrant but retains its grittiness, keeping it real and authentic. 
 I've maintained that Newton can take that same feel and make its edginess  work to  advantage.
So let's talk about 137th St, also known as Festival Street in the City of Surrey's plans for the town centre. 


Newton Town Centre Plans for Festival Street  (137th St.) during an event.
City of Surrey

 Everyone's asking....When will the plans be implemented?





The  commercial space above is perfect for an artsy edgy gallery/live space

Business owners and the community  all agree- the Pay Parking HAS to go!
*Update Oct. , thanks to  efforts of Cllr. Judy Villeneuve, we now have 2 hr. free parking :)



Festival Street-  Plans for Everyday Use, but when will the city get moving and make this happen? 
There are many office and retail spaces currently for lease in the vicinity.
Let's fill them with creativity and connection.



How awesome would it be to create a  unique to Surrey  funky art, music &  cafe scene here?    You know what I'm talking about.  Old or at least old-looking brick walls, great coffee, and a place to meet up with friends. 
Your ' third place


What about a global crafts marketplace in these vacant spaces?   Think: studios, coffee houses, music venues. Somewhere our young Surrey musicians and creative types can get together and showcase their talents?



  
 And let's not forget   about  FOOD!


  



As Retrofitting Suburbia author Ellen Dunham-Jones says
"Never Underestimate the Power of Food to Turn a Place around and make it a destination"





  Here's what one city is doing   Midtown Global Market

 So, think about the many possibilities for the  Newton Town Centre.
We have so much untapped potential in this area. Let's take the vision and make it happen. We have many strengths  and a growing  number of  citizens taking charge of their own community. 
Are you going to be one of them?

   Still reading?
 Leave your comments or if you prefer, send me a message.
 hey-jude@telus.net