Streetscape Project Part of Downtown Revitalization

- AMARILLO -- Nearly three years after the city of Amarillo announced plans for major redevelopment of downtown, very little has been done.  At least as far as the eye can see.

        Today, there are some encouraging signs.

        The city accepted a grant from the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) for streetscape improvements.

        That's a far cry from what we're expecting from the proposed $113 million downtown revitalization but, it's a good sign.

        The nearly $2 million grant is for streetscape improvements in the area where the proposed convention center hotel, parking garage and multipurpose venue will be located.

        The Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) will kick-in another $385,000 for the streetscape project.

        City councilman Dr. Brian Eades says the city has been turned-down twice before for this grant.  Being approved this time is a good sign.

        "Those kinds of grants from TXDOT, as you know with declining revenues for all state departments, they're really tight and there's a lot of competition for those.  I think as they looked at our plan and what we're having and how far along we are with our ballpark concept,  I feel like they felt it was a good investment of state funds."  Dr. Eades said.

        Dr. eades says the streetscape improvements won't be made until the major projects are done.  When that will happen is still up in the air.

        Eades and other council members say because it is a public/private venture, there are some things they can't discuss.  But, they did say movement is being made.

        One of the big things that has to happen before the multipurpose venue is built is the relocation of the Coca Cola plant.

        The Amarillo Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) plans to break ground on their new facility this month.

        The streetscape project will be on Buchanan from 6th to 11th and on 6th avenue between Fillmore and Pierce.

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