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Downtown in focus

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Posted: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 1:00 am

Event planned to bring attention to city center

Saturday afternoon all eyes will be on downtown Taylor.

The Taylor EDC, City of Taylor, Main Street Program and chamber of commerce are teaming up to help the community celebrate downtown Taylor – an event intended to jumpstart a revitalization effort.

The purpose and message of the event is simple for Laura Perez with the EDC.

“We are saying we care about downtown and we are willing to invest in it because it is worth something,” she said. “I think when you let other people know that you want to invest in something it makes them think about the value of it and they are more likely to invest in it as well.”

It will take an infusion of money to transform the area, but for Perez, the money isn’t the answer by itself.

“I think that is part of it, but I think it is only a piece of the pie,” she said. “I think the reason I want to do ‘Celebrate Downtown Taylor’ is that we can’t expect other people to invest in our town until we are willing to invest in our town.

“We’ve been in a stall because we are not really doing anything downtown and the buildings that have been for sale or lease have been sitting there so long that we are not attracting the right type of attention.”

Celebrate Downtown Taylor is scheduled for 3-8 p.m. with live music, food, beverages and more, intended to bring people in to see the opportunity in the area.

Live music will be provided by the Austin Jazz Workshop, as well as several local artists and musicians.

“The cool thing about how we will have it set up is we will have different stations throughout downtown where we will have music,” Perez said. “We will have food and beverages in different places to encourage people to go throughout downtown.”

There will also be many prizes given away throughout the event.

“People will pick up give away tickets at each downtown business they go into,” she said. “The more businesses they go into the more chances they have to win these prizes all being given away by our downtown businesses themselves.”

Local artists from the Taylor Artist Guild will be exhibiting their works and the Taylor Public Library will display pieces from its collection of historic Taylor photos.

To show what downtown has to offer potential businesses, there will be five or six vacant buildings open and staged for people to walk through. Perez said invitations have gone out to site consultants, business brokers and real estate professionals to come tour those buildings.

“Downtown is the home to architectural jewels that were built in the late 1800s and the early 1900s and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.  Many of the buildings have been lovingly restored and some are ready for new owners and occupants,” said Main Street Manager Deby Lannen.

While the long term plan is to bring businesses new to downtown, Perez said this event is focused on reminding people what Taylor’s city center can be.

“I want to get a message across that Taylor cares about its downtown,” she said. “I think it has gotten to the point that because our downtown does not have a lot of foot traffic or activity, it starts to become invisible to a lot of Taylor residents. I want to wake up downtown and remind people it is there.”

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.

4 comments:

  • jovibon8673 posted at 4:33 pm on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

    jovibon8673 Posts: 487

    I think if you were to count the number of spaces lost to the bumpouts it would be very minimal. I know it was painful and took a while but I think that sidewalk improvement thing looks really nice. worth the trade in parking spots in my opinion.

     
  • rodeo posted at 12:49 pm on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

    rodeo Posts: 34

    The so-called bump-outs of sidewalks to make it more pedestrian friendly also takes away from parking space. City planners assume everyone is within walking distance. So are we expected to park at city hall and walk from there? There is a parking lot on Talbot and 3rd buts that's private property.

     
  • Businessman posted at 10:14 am on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

    Businessman Posts: 94

    It is great to try & show case downtown Taylor & make it as vibrant as it was in the 50's,60's & 70's. The major problem to overcome is the total lack of parking on Main street & the adjoining side streets. I see retailers on Main who park their own vehicles right in" front of their doors " or worse yet in front of their neighboring retailers doors. Thus, eliminating any possiblity for potential customers to park. This is the main reason so many restaurants on Main Street; 4 th. Street; & Third Street have failed. The same thing is happening in downtown Round Rock. One of the best seafood restaurants left Round Rock & re-opened in Georgetown due to lack of customer parking spaces. Additionally they are doubling their size , keeping all employees, & adding more.
    Until the parking issue is resolved not much else can take place !!

     
  • Muley posted at 9:22 am on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

    Muley Posts: 1

    What a great event for our hometown! Every time Taylor hosts something like this it gives us a chance to see family, get reacquainted with old friends, and make new friends while visiting new businesses in our downtown. It's these kinds of events that remind me why Taylor is such an a neat place to live and a great place to raise a family.