HOBART | The city has a new blue-hued logo and a major redevelopment plan to turn Hobart into a destination for visitors and enhance safety for those using such amenities as Festival Park and Lake George.
Mayor Brian Snedcor, Redevelopment Commission President Sheila DeBonis and city department heads gathered Tuesday at City Hall for a news conference to unveil the city’s new logo that emphasizes the clock tower and suggests the waters of Lake George.
Hobart’s new name for the downtown — the Lakefront District — was also announced at the news conference.
Rebranding the entire downtown area the Lakefront District “gives more definition to our downtown” and helps tie in the recreational areas of Lake George and Festival Park, DeBonis said. It’s the latest phase in development of Hobart’s downtown that has been in the works for 25 years, she said.
Ratio Architects of Indianapolis designed the symbol of the clock tower and the streetscape plans for medians, landscaping and brick and limestone pylons featuring the Lakefront District name and clock tower logo, said Denaire Kane, Hobart director of development and staff adviser to the Hobart Redevelopment Commission.
The firm specializes in architecture, preservation, interior design, landscape architecture and urban planning, she said.
Hobart’s new redevelopment project includes setting up gateways into the city’s downtown at four locations using the three-sided pylons set in rock-faced limestone raised landscaped planters. At night the pylons will be lighted.
A message board announcing various events throughout the city also will be built.
The gateways will be added over the next five years, and the first will be built at Festival Park, Kane said.
Currently, visitors to various events at Festival Park must dodge traffic along Old Ridge Road to reach the facilities, said Snedcor, which creates safety issues.
The new streetscape in the Festival Park area calls for a landscaped median to slow down traffic and a brick paver crosswalk for pedestrians, he said.
Eventually, there also will be an improved parking area, an accessible boat launch onto Lake George and a bioswale.
The bioswale will feature a small rain garden with native plantings to encourage Hobart residents to install such water conservation efforts, said Bob Fulton, Snecdor’s assistant and president of the city’s combined sanitary and stormwater district.
Hobart Park Superintendent John Mitchell said parks officials continue to add amenities to Festival Park to create interest in the downtown.
“It’s nice to see people coming to the downtown. As you see more people come here, they’ll want more things, such as restaurants,” Mitchell said. “It’s a huge thing for Hobart.”
The redevelopment plan cost wasn’t available at the news conference.
“It’s kind of a moving target,” Snedcor said.
Money for the project will come from the Redevelopment Commission, the Park Board and the Sanitary/Stormwater District, DeBonis said.