The Lyon Center area had seen significant growth with the success of highway commercial developments along I-96. The big-box, mid-box and outlot retail establishments commonly referred to as Lyon Towne Center came to replace Downtown New Hudson as the defining feature in the area. Lyon Towne Center became oriented toward the highway and unwalkable. While this was an economic development win for the Township, it came at the expense of the character of the downtown. The traditional downtown was dying, residential density in the historic New Hudson district was low and any sign of a walkable, ‘hometown’ community was disappearing.
Consistent with its long tradition of sound planning, the Township’s DDA realized the need to comprehensively plan for the future of the downtown district. The DDA knew that the success of this vision needed community and stakeholder feedback and support in order to stand the test of time. This vision also needed to be driven by a comprehensive implementation plan that identified each 'step to success' for the Township to be comfortable adopting such a grand plan.
McKenna proposed using a charrette as the main means of obtaining input, developing ideas, and reaching consensus on the future of Lyon Center. McKenna’s team designed and facilitated this collaborative, intense multi-day planning workshop that included effected stakeholders at critical decision-making points. It was a democratic process in which all voices and viewpoints were aired and considered and ultimately yielded the changes made to the final Vision Plan.