SUNNYVALE, CA-Sunnyvale officials are conducting planning and urban design studies of the downtown area for the first time since the early 1990s.

The city is hoping to work together with Sunnyvale residents to develop a new downtown area that is unique and serves the needs of the community, says Robert Paternoster, Director of Community Development for Sunnyvale.

Paternoster adds that several meetings will be held during the studies to determine community needs and vision, stressing that public participation and feedback is an important part of planning and urban design studies.

The city adopted a Downtown Specific Plan after the previous studies in the early 1990s.Several projects since that time, however, have failed to take it into consideration.

One of these projects is the Mozart Downtown Office Plaza, which involves building a four-level parking garage, three office buildings and a public plaza. Another project is the Town Center Mall expansion, which will bring a new 20-screen movie theater and retail area to Sunnyvale.

The Downtown Sunnyvale Urban Design Study will be conducted through July of next year and will determine the economic and development realities of expanding the downtown area, preparing the urban design framework that will link all of the new projects together.

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