WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) — More than two years after celebrating the completion of the project’s first phase, city officials are laying the groundwork for Phase 2 of Washington’s streetscape project.

The first phase, which ceremoniously ended in late 2020, was a $3 million-plus revamp of Main Street in downtown Washington. The city upgraded the utility infrastructure in the area while also upgrading sidewalks and improving nearby landscaping.

“I think our current streetscape project is a textbook example of public investment leading to private investment,” Washington City Manager Jonathan Russell said. “It’s been a huge success as far as improving the aesthetics and the infrastructure on Main Street. That’s been followed by several new businesses coming, as well as housing options and overnight accommodations.”

Phase 2 will include improvements to other areas of downtown, but the specifics of the project have yet to be determined. City Council recently agreed to again enlist the services of Allison Platt and Regeneration By Design LLC for conceptual designs for Phase 2. Platt is an urban designer who helped design Phase 1 of the streetscape project.

Engaging Platt is one step in a “lengthy process” that will include public hearings and other events along the way.

“We do know that Phase 2 will be slightly less expensive,” Russell said. “If we’re going up Market Street and continuing down Main toward Bridge (Street) and a couple of other areas, most of that will be aesthetic improvements and not the infrastructure that we did on Main with the water, sewer and stormwater upgrades that were needed at that time.”