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Over the next year, this portal will be your place to keep track of all the latest project developments, news, information, resources from previous meetings/workshops and to garner feedback throughout the entire process. The aim of this site is to provide a transparent, equitable and inclusive design approach to ensure a thoughtful and authentic vision for Downtown Grass Valley. 

This effort is spearheaded by the City of Grass Valley and led by a consultant team of Atlas Lab Inc., a Sacramento-based landscape architecture, urban design and public art studio. The design team includes: Mogavero Architects, BKF Engineers and Fehr & Peers.

Project Background

In June 2020, the City of Grass Valley temporarily closed one block of Mill Street to create public space as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The closure was extended and expanded in September and again in January 2021 to encompass the two blocks of Mill Street between Main Street and Neal.

Public response to the temporary closure was positive - out of about 1,400 residents who responded to an online survey, 76% indicated that they were in favor of making the temporary closure permanent. Residents noted that they appreciated the increased safety, the sense of community, the family-friendly environment, and the increased potential for tourism. More than two-thirds of Mill Street business stakeholders also agreed that Mill Street should remain a pedestrian zone, and shared concerns about access, parking and traffic. 

In response to this feedback, the Grass Valley City Council voted on April 13, 2021 to make the closure of Mill Street between Main and Neal permanent.

Project Process Timeline

Phase Complete

Phase 1: Listen – May 1st -June 30th, 2021

The listening phase of the project includes the review of community feedback to date along with a series of stakeholder interviews to hear, record and summarize key feedback and lessons learned from the past and current configuration of Mill Street and the greater Historic Downtown Grass Valley.  The consultant team will conduct a complete site analysis based on information gathered at various meetings to understand all aspects of Mill Street and the surrounding downtown area. At the end of this phase is a Pop Up Community Workshop for the community to share their vision for the plaza.

Phase in Progress
Current Phase

Phase 2: Visioning (Design Alternatives) and Community Feedback – Summer 2021

This phase uses feedback from the first Phase to develop three concept alternatives that illustrate various configurations of key programmatic elements along Mill Street. These alternatives will be presented to the community and feedback gathered on each option to determine a preferred design direction.

Future Phase

Phase 3: Design Development – Fall 2021

This phase will include the development of a preferred design concept that aims to capture the full ambition and vision for Mill Street Plaza and the greater Grass Valley Downtown. This Plan will be presented to City Council and include considerations for a preferred phased design and construction in 2022.

Future Phase

Phase 4: Construction Documentation – Fall/Winter 2021

This phase will include detailed documentation and development of the preferred phased design for construction.

Future Phase

Phase 5: Implementation Phase – 1st-2nd Quarter 2022

This phase will include the staging and actual construction of the preferred phased design.

Get Involved

Throughout this process, we invite you to share your experiences and engage the team through online survey and pop-up workshops over the summer.

Stay Connected