A long-wanted facelift planned to draw new shoppers to downtown Lexington is starting, Mayor Steve MacDougall said Monday.
A series of projects is coming as part of an effort to revive the area around Main Street as a shopping hub designed to become home to specialty retailers and restaurants, he said.
Work on the package is beginning this spring after three years of preparation. The list includes:
• Developing an outdoor amphitheater at Main and Church streets, followed by the opening of stores around it. The plaza should be finished by Dec. 31. At 900 seats, it will be nearly twice the size first suggested. It will be the site for concerts and other activities.
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• Reducing road congestion on Main Street, Columbia Avenue and Lake Drive through a network of signals run by cameras and digital technology. Motorists should have an easier commute – particularly during rush hours – by Dec. 31, if not sooner.
• Putting up signs for local landmarks such as the Lexington County Museum, parks and walking trails. Those paths will be extended to add a mile around the Old Mill Pond next to a former textile mill that’s now a shopping mall.
“These projects speak volumes of how our pro-active, progressive, forward-looking vision and planning is continuing to create a wonderful, vibrant, livable community,” MacDougall said in his annual State of the Town speech.
MacDougall is overseeing a plan developed while he was a town councilman.
Steadily growing Lexington is home to 20,000 residents, the latest census estimates say. That makes it the largest municipal neighbor of nearby Columbia.