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Saturday, April 20, 2024 at 6:16 AM
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Upgrades to Murphy Street funded

EDIE ZUVANICH Special to the Press

The Taylor City Council approved $1 million in upgrades to Murphy Street that will include refurbishing crumbling roads, water and sewer lines. Although Murphy Street has no houses on it, the water and sewer lines serve the surrounding neighborhood.

Council member Gerald Anderson, who represents District 1 where Murphy Street is located, said it’s an investment whose time has come.

“The reason those people left that neighborhood is because there was no infrastructure. There were no streets. The plumbing was terrible so all the people in the neighborhood left because they weren’t getting the services they were paying for over the last 50, 60, 70 years. I think this is a well overdue project and I think its money well spent,” he said.

Plans for the Murphy Street Revival 2 include 34 homes. Photo courtesy of the city of Taylor

Citizen concerns about investing in a road with no homes, although it is scheduled to be redeveloped, have led to heated comments from community members. On Thursday night, council clarified its position on continuing with the investment.

“We have an issue with water pressure on that side of town. The fire department has concerns about addressing any house that’s on fire on that side, so we’re investing in that as well, but nobody’s bringing that up,” said Council Member Robert Garcia.

“We’re bringing some of the infrastructure up that’s been dilapidated for years.”

A development called Murphy Street Revival 2 looks to bring new life back to the abandoned area. Spearheaded by David Legere, managing director of CapNote Consulting, the new neighborhood will be a “cottage court” style subdivision inspired by the feel of Seaside, Florida. It will feature 34 small-footprint homes overlooking the hike and bike trail and the historic cemetery.

“Murphy Street, just a few blocks from our city center, once had houses, a beauty shop and a church. The steeple from the Murphy Street church remains on site as a monument,” said Legere of the nowderelict street.

The developer said he worked with the city to create master plans and designs for the new subdivision. Located almost right in the heart of town, the project fulfills part of the city’s comprehensive plan to create in-fill development.

“This is an area that is somewhat blighted and very much underserved and I think it’s typical of parts of Taylor that were neglected for many, many years by leadership,” said Mayor Brandt Rydell. “A blind eye was turned towards it and it was not getting the attention it needed. I’m just proud we’re in position to make a change in that respect.”

In a land swap agreement, Legere gave the city a corner piece of land near Fourth and Murphy streets in exchange for two lots located at 510 and 512 Murphy St. The lots were rezoned during Thursday’s meeting to reflect their switch from mixed residential to civic space, and vice versa.

“This is an investment,” said council member Mitch Drummond. “Currently, the properties on this street are paying very little into city coffers. Once David Lagere finishes this project it will be very profitable for the city of Taylor.”

“We spent a lot of time on our comprehensive plan Envision Taylor, and a big part for us of the comprehensive plan is to invest in our core and to create more housing opportunities within Taylor,” Rydell added. “This project checks so many boxes in that regard.”


Taylor Press

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