$45 million facelift for downtown Denison - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

$45 million facelift for downtown Denison

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An artist's conception of plans to remake downtown Denison. (City of Denison) An artist's conception of plans to remake downtown Denison. (City of Denison)
An illustration of new pavement, parking and landscaping planned for downtown Denison. (City of Denison) An illustration of new pavement, parking and landscaping planned for downtown Denison. (City of Denison)

DENISON, Texas -- Denison's City Council has approved the final project plan for their Main Street improvement project.

That means plenty of updates for the historic downtown district, including new sidewalks, parking, and landscaping. The goal is to create an inviting atmosphere to compliment the historic buildings.

"We see the buildings as being a tremendous asset for downtown, that's what does create the charm," said Denison Main Street director Donna Dow. "We want to enhance those buildings and make it a place people want to hang out and shop."

The city has been setting aside tax revenues for the $45 million project.

"As we were developing this design, we said we needed to come up with a way to pay for this," explained City Manager Jud Rex, who said the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone created last year collects new taxes that residents pay along Main Street.

"Instead of putting them in a pot for the city, we're setting it aside for improvements downtown," he said.

The initial phase of the project begins in January, starting from the railroad tracks and moving west along Main Street to Rusk Avenue.

"I'm very excited," Rex said. "I think the heart of any community is Main Street, and for a community to say we are going to invest this much money in the long term is a big statement for the priority of Main Street and downtown businesses."

The Main Street plan will take anywhere from 10 to 15 years before it's complete.

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