Downtown Monroe

Our Vision

The success of Downtown Monroe will come from a lively mix of quality retail shops, professional services, restaurants, entertainment, and upper-floor residential space, providing a variety of opportunities for a distinct cultural experience. Downtown will retain a safe, friendly, small-town pedestrian-oriented atmosphere for residents and visitors while at the same time engaging a positive spirit enhanced by its distinct sense of place built upon its rich agricultural history and architecturally significant buildings. The mix of retail and service businesses and continued expansion will strengthen Monroe’s sense of community and quality of life through the cooperative marketing and promotion efforts of our Downtown department.

Our Mission

To recognize, revitalize, preserve, and promote the historic, cultural, social, and economic significance of Monroe’s Downtown.

About the Downtown Master Plan

The Monroe Downtown Master Plan reflects a vision for a place where people live, work, and play and where restaurants, entertainment venues, and shops continually attract residents and visitors. To revitalize the Downtown of Monroe and realize the vision expressed in the Downtown Master Plan, recommendations were set forth in six key areas: land use, transportation, open space, urban design, character and cultural resources, and market position/economic development. Consistent with the vision, the plan also offers suggestion for physical improvements to Downtown. It encourages the correct mixture of downtown retail; seeks to bolster residential areas adjacent to the core; respects the character of downtown, especially the architecture of the built environment; and suggests improvements to the transportation network. Furthermore, the Downtown Master Plan determines catalyst sites where redevelopment opportunites exist.

“Today the goal is to return Monroe to its position as the focal point of commerce, arts and employment in Union County…”

Purpose of the Downtown Master Plan

To counteract the impact of lost retail, as well as to make Downtown Monroe an exciting destination, the City of Monroe has undertaken an effort to revitalize its historic core by creating this new Downtown Master Plan.  Monroe has declined from its peak when it was the region’s, and certainly the county’s, main center of commerce and culture. Today, the goal is to return Monroe to its position as the focal point of commerce, arts, and employment in Union County and as a destination point within the region as it once was before the era following World War II when America embraced the automobile and raced to the suburbs.  Exacerbating Monroe’s decline was the retail community’s flight to the US 74 bypass over the last four decades.  This Downtown Master Plan for Monroe is a step in reversing those trends and is a part of a newfound enthusiasm by elected officials, city staff, and proponents of Downtown.  Equal excitement exists among many of those who live in residential neighborhoods, some designated as historic adjacent to Downtown, that view Downtown as their neighborhood center. The resulting plan addresses trends, opportunities, and limitations facing the city;  the preservation of historic areas;  infill development;  enhancements to the Downtown street network;  and the environment and open space.