Cuyahoga Falls residents are invited to a meeting this week to hear about plans for a downtown redevelopment project in the Front Street area.

A public meeting will take place Jan. 31 at 6 p.m. in the Erie Room at the Natatorium where residents may hear a comprehensive update on the progress and momentum of the Downtown Transformation project, according to a city news release. During the meeting, panel members will discuss infrastructure, market review and concepts, branding, brainstorming, and resident questions. With approval from City Council, road construction could begin in late spring of this year.

“The conversation will focus on the proposed public improvements, retail recruitment, and branding efforts as the city works to reopen the existing pedestrian mall to two-way vehicular traffic to redevelop and revitalize downtown Cuyahoga Falls,” a city news release stated. “There will be an opportunity for public input. The forum will feature speakers from The Zall Company, Gibbs Planning Group, a5 Branding & Digital, and TRIAD Communications.”

The meeting comes on the heels of a recent fact-finding tour involving city and business leaders.

On Jan. 20, Mayor Don Walters, along with community and business leaders, embarked on an overnight fact-finding tour to “help reimagine downtown Cuyahoga Falls,” the news release stated. The group traveled to Oak Park, Ill., and Valparaiso and South Bend, Ind. to experience the successful revitalization of downtown areas that were once struggling. The trip was a mission to understand best practices as the city moves forward with the goal of opening the Front Street pedestrian mall to two-way vehicular traffic. Group members self-funded both their lodging and food expenses.

“We have a phenomenal opportunity to create economic growth through a revitalized retail market, better traffic flow, and historic preservation, but that can only happen if accessibility and visibility are improved through opening the pedestrian mall to traffic,” stated Walters.