Dover's Waterfront Initiative Update

Dover’s Waterfront Initiative Update

Dover real estate and economic growth continues to shine.  Union Studios of Rhode Island has been contracted by the city of Dover to design the waterfront.   Below is an update on what’s happening!

Below is courtesy of the Dover Town Offices:

“Union Studio presents three alternative concepts to waterfront committee

At the last Cochecho Waterfront Development Advisory Committee meeting in March, Union Studio presented three framework plans (Schemes A, B, and C) for the committee to consider.  These were further refined to produce three Preliminary Park Designs.
Framework Plan B
Each of the Framework Plans has a slightly different approach. For example, one indicated an offset of River Street, one considered significant removal of the bluff, while another showed minimal removal of the bluff.  Each varied the depth and shape of the waterfront park.  Each of these can be further explored  at this link.
Preliminary Park Design Scheme B
Using the Framework Plans, Union Studio then overlaid more detailed park designs, again with each option proposing a somewhat different park layout.  Three Preliminary Park Designs were presented to the Committee.  For example, one proposed a rowing dock near the sharp bend in the shoreline, or “the knuckle,” while the others placed it further down stream.  All options provided opportunities for steps down to the water and a small café or restaurant.
The Committee was then asked to comment on each of the final schemes.  The comments were submitted to Union Studio.  In summary the committee noted the following:
  • Minimize excavation of the bluff to allow for shifting River Street and allow for limited development in this area;
  • Shift the alignment of River Street eastward;
  • Provide a meaningful Gateway entrance at the intersection of River and lower Washington streets at/near the Makem Bridge;
  • A plaza at the knuckle is preferred though it might start as a smaller footprint with opportunity for expansion;
  • Provide a linear park from Makem Bridge to the knuckle where it widens to allow for plaza, boat, and public access, etc.;
  • Locate any large boathouse to the east of the knuckle.
Preferred Preliminary Concept
After review of the Committee’s comments, Union Studio proposed a final preliminary concept as shown above.
This concept is highlighted by the following:
  • Minimal excavation of the bluff to allow realignment of River Street thereby allowing for more park space and several small building pads along River Street;
  • An offset of River Street at the Washington Street intersection that will slow traffic and also provide space for a restaurant or café at the “Gateway”;
  • A linear park along the Cochecho from the Gateway to the “knuckle” with a location where than can be steps to the river;
  • A plaza area at the knuckle that could include a kayak and canoe launch area, a dock for tour boats and/or transient boaters, and public facilities including restrooms and boat rental kiosk;
  • A rowing dock area and associated parking further east of the knuckle.  A boathouse could also be considered at or near this location;
  • Further downstream there could be a more natural area with river overlooks and trails;
  • Potential to develop a small number of residential units on the bluff.
In total there would be an additional 4 acres of active park along the river and approximately 6.7 acres of developable land north of the proposed Washington Street extension and 2.5 acres of developable land south of the Washington Street extension.  There is also a little over 2 acres of developable land on the top of the bluff.
This preferred concept provides an excellent starting point for the next phases of the redevelopment project, which will include the design of the rowing dock, a disposition plan for the remaining hazardous materials and ultimately development on the buildable areas.
Representatives from Union Studio will present this preferred concept at our next CWDAC meeting on April 19 at the McConnell Center at 5:30 p.m.  If you would like to hear more about it or ask questions, please join us.”