The Town Center Development Plan provides a framework for development of more than 30 acres in the heart of Homer.
The plan began with a series of community meetings in 1998 sponsored by the Kachemak Heritage Land Trust. These meetings looked at opportunity for attractive downtown development utilizing vacant land between Pioneer Avenue, the Sterling Highway, Main Street, and Poopdeck Street. Later the City Council appointed a Town Center Development Committee which built on earlier work to create the Town Center Development Plan.
The plan opens with "A Vision for the Heart of Homer: Town Center will be a community focal point to provide for business development, instill a greater sense of pride in the downtown area, enhance mobility for all forms of transportation, and contribute to a higher quality of life. Town Center will be based on a framework that establishes linkages within, to, and through the heart of the downtown area. This framework will create a vibrant community center where residents can live, work, and play, and visitors will be welcomed."
In 2006, the Town Center Plan was adopted by the Homer City Council. Guiding principles relate to economic opportunity; common space such as a central Town Square or plaza; compact, pedestrian-friendly design; mixed uses including commercial, civic, and residential; and a look and feel that reflects Homer's vibrant artistic character.
While the Town Center Plan assumed that development would kick off with construction of a new City Hall, voters rejected this idea in 2008. Since then, in 2011, the City Council approved a new economic development plan (Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy) which recommends that the City resume planning for Town Center and consider a public market (such as Homer Farmers Market) as a primary anchor. Master planning would also identify preferred routes and design for new roads, trails, sidewalks, and parking areas and would seek to enhance connections to Pioneer Avenue, Main Street, and Old Town to help ensure that Town Center development benefits existing and future businesses in those areas.