July 2018

(Photo courtesy of the City of Twin Falls)

The residents of Twin Falls, Idaho, gathered to celebrate the opening of their new Downtown Commons last week. Otak designed a major reconstruction of seven blocks of downtown streets and a new public plaza next to city hall.

A professional base jumper parachuted into the street to kick off the festivities, city leaders shared their excitement in these new amenities, and it was rumored that the mayor was one of many to partake of the new splash pad and fountains during the festivities. Children and adults frolicked and splashed in the plaza’s central feature to escape the 90-degree heat.

The Downtown Commons also includes artwork, a beautiful walkway with landscaping, a special events space, and a restroom and storage building. The Main Avenue streetscape, also designed by Otak, was completely rebuilt from building face to building face with new sidewalks, public gathering spaces (including stretches of curbless festival streets specifically designed for events and markets), on-street parking, furnishings, lighting, trees, landscaping, and other features.

Otak principal, Mandi Roberts, and an integrated design team made up of Otak civil engineers, landscape architects, and urban designers, has worked with the City since 2014 when the planning stage began. “Seeing the Downtown Commons come to life has been gratifying to me because Twin Falls is where generations of my family lived,” said Mandi.

Mandy Werbeck Flett, another member of Otak’s project team, grew up in Twin Falls and supported the robust community and stakeholder engagement program that helped shape the design. “We worked hard to help the community visualize how downtown could once again become the vibrant, active heart of the community like it once was decades ago. It was incredibly rewarding to work with residents to come up with a design that is helping transform their hometown and build a stronger community. Judging from the turn-out at the grand opening and feedback from many residents, the community is embracing and loving the new improvements, and we are really proud of that.”


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