Where is downtown Hobart? City officials OK new signs

2013-04-16T22:20:00Z 2013-12-13T15:14:04Z Where is downtown Hobart? City officials OK new signsDeborah Laverty deborah.laverty@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223 nwitimes.com

HOBART | City officials are hoping action taken Tuesday by three boards will make it easier for outsiders to locate Hobart's downtown.

The boards joined together to approve a newly designed logo seal and way-finding system for the downtown lakefront district including new signs, pedestrian crossings and other improvements.

"This is a very important meeting for the city and the perception of the city for many years to come," Mayor Brian Snedecor said.

The Redevelopment Commission, Parks Board and Board of Public Works joined together to approve the $1.1 million downtown improvement plan.

Director of Development Denarie Kane a study last year revealed a need for a new branding plan for Hobart's downtown and a way to tie into that branding identity.

Financing of the new logo and way-finding system, some of which will be implemented this year, will be through the Redevelopment Commission because the downtown is part of a designated economic development area, Kane said.

"We're not seeking money, just cooperation," Kane told members of the two other boards.

Craig Glazier, an architect for Ratio in Indianapolis, made a presentation of the identification prototypes before a vote on the project was taken.

Glazier said his firm conducted a study of the city before coming up with the new logo and other branding.

"The primary goal is to bring activities and jobs to the downtown and to emphasize its heart," Glazier said.

The new logo incorporates the clock tower, which is identified with Lake George, and the color blue to tie into the lake.

Brick and steel sign column gateways will be used at four locations near the downtown, including Festival Park at Old Ridge Road, Lincoln Street at the bike trail, Third Street at the bridge and Third Street at Duck Creek.

Work will begin at the Festival Park gateway and include a pedestrian crossing, landscaped median and other improvements.

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