Della Rucker and Tammy Schlagbaum from Jacobs, Edwards & Kelcey, shared with civic leaders and concerned citizens their vision and plan for the downtown area.
The city hired the firm in 2006, to assist with planning. An open house took place in October 2006, and a local steering committee met during 2007, to develop a plan.
The strategic plan also included a building inventory and a marketing analysis.
"The first phase, which is the strategic plans and the market analysis and the building inventory, was done through a matching grant from the Ohio Department of Development Downtown Revitalization Program, and was matched by city funds," Rucker said. "The portion that we are doing now is through, I believe, the Community Development Block Grant Program."
Rucker said funds were matched with money factored into the city's Capital Improvement Program, and she said there were two primary objectives for the open house.
"One, is that we wanted everybody to get a chance to get introduced to the strategic plan, which is a very simple, very policy-oriented plan, because it lays out seven primary priorities and some basic principles," she said.
The second objective, Rucker said, was her company wanted those in attendance to see the results of the market analysis that recently had been performed.
"The other piece is that we are getting ready to start a Streetscape Master Plan," she said. "That doesn't mean we are going to build a Streetscape next week, but it does mean we are going to start figuring out what the pieces are, and what should be built (and) when and how things should be saved."
Rucker said another, and possibly the most important purpose for the open house, was to get feedback from the public on what they like about the Streetscape and what they would like to see changed about the current Streetscape for the downtown area.
"We've got some examples of different kinds of Streetscapes, and Tammy Schlagbaum, our director of Landscape Architecture is here trying to learn as much as she can about what people want to see for downtown," she said.
Among the statistics on display was the average Portsmouth income for 2004. According to the report, the average person in Portsmouth earned $33,897, a full 23.8 percent below the statewide average of $44,480, and those figures showed only 78 percent employment.
Former Portsmouth City Councilman Steve Sturgill, director of Workforce Connections, said the plan reminds him of the past.
"A lot of these same things are things we did when I was on council," Sturgill said.
Rucker said the Downtown Revitalization Plan is a tool to, "help organize our needs and determine our actions to mnaximise our resources."
The seven major initiatives laid out in the report are: