Creating a City Center
Sierra Vista’s ten-year General Plan, called Vista 2030, identified the citizen’s desire for a walkable city center, rich with entertainment, arts, and dining opportunities. To move Sierra Vista closer to this goal, the City is focusing on redeveloping its historic West End. This section of the community is adjacent to Fort Huachuca, accessible via public transportation, and is linked to the City’s multi-use path system to allow easy access to bicyclists and walkers.
In February 2017, the Sierra Vista Metropolitan Planning Organization completed its West End Corridor Study, examining the commercial district between Buffalo Soldier Trail and 7th Street, emphasizing multi-modal transportation, safety, and enhanced use of the district. Using the study as a launch pad, Sierra Vista’s Community Development Department has implemented a redevelopment fund, providing up-to matching funds for commercial improvements, like facade improvements, sidewalks, and beautification efforts. Additionally, the Arts & Humanities Commission spearheaded a mural effort, resulting in a colorful addition to the west side of a building near Buffalo Soldier Trail and Fry Boulevard, the intersection which serves as the main entrance to the district.
A streetscape revitalization effort is also underway for the area between Garden Avenue and 7th Avenue. Plans include traffic pattern alterations in addition to pedestrian amenities such as walking paths and trees. Additionally, the City is turning its attention to North Garden Avenue, a street with several available office and retail spaces. All of these efforts signal a positive swing toward Sierra Vistans seeing the sought-after gathering place, the heart of the community.
Current businesses in the West End include a bars and restaurants, specialty grocery stores, urgent care facility, and independent and small-chain retail, as well as offices. Minutes from Fort Huachuca’s historic Buffalo Soldier Gate, Sierra Vista’s West End is poised to welcome entertainment-centric businesses, such as wine tasting rooms, galleries, specialty shops, restaurants, and more.