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Tyler City Council approves consulting contract for downtown revitalization

Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 9:53 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 12, 2022 at 7:48 PM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The Tyler City Council approved a consulting contract with Toole Design on Wednesday, Jan. 12, for the development of a concept to support revitalization efforts in the downtown area.

They said in the last 15 years, there has been a national movement toward Downtown revitalization supported by State programs and Main Street America. With the additions of new large residential developments in progress and a high concentration of local business and amenities, a plan is needed to support this new growth and lifestyle.

“If you look at every artistic rendering that any of the plans have shown in the past, they’ve all got some type of a green component to it which is what we desperately need downtown,” City of Tyler Downtown Main Street Board Chairperson Stan Anderson said.

The city said they were inspired to undertake this effort following visits to Sulphur Springs, Texas. With a population of only 16,000, Sulphur Springs has made significant progress in their downtown over the last decade. Due to these efforts, private investment has been made.

Toole Design visited the City of Tyler for an initial collaboration over the summer of 2021. The visit resulted in a preliminary vision and ideas exploring the feasibility of creating a similarly inspiring and home-grown vision for Tyler’s core that reflects its heritage, community values and context.

The goal is to enhance the public realm including existing streets, green spaces, plazas and open areas, and create new signature public spaces to attract people, activity and investment. Additionally, it will also create a pedestrian and bicycle-friendly area to enhance access and connections to Downtown.

“We really think that what Toole Design will do will come in and come up with ideas to widen the sidewalks and to maybe narrow down the streets a little bit, plant trees, have places where people can eat outside, and just create an environment that is inviting that makes downtown more of a destination,” Tyler Mayor Don Warren said.

The plan is scheduled to be completed by July 2022. This preliminary vision and design will move the revitalization process forward to allow the City to develop phases for construction. Construction will support the new Visitors Center, the natural tourist hub and the development of a National Historic District.

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