Downtown Redevelopment

Downtown Round Rock master plan charrette, Update 1

We have launch! Day 1 of our downtown plan charrette is complete; we've had two public kickoff presentations and a day's worth work sessions. I'm estimating we had at least 100 folks turn out for the presentations.

Our plan designers were busy during the day (and night) sketching out preliminary ideas and concepts, as well as meeting with citizens and others who have dropped in the Community Room at the McConico Building to share their thoughts. 

For those who couldn't make it, here's a PDF of today's presentation.

Some of the highlights of the presentation include:

  1. Neal Payton of Torti Gallas provided an overview of the elements that make up a great place
  2. The market demand analysis performed by ERA shows there is a solid market for more retail and residential units in downtown; the demand isn't as strong for office space, because there is significant vacancy in Class A space in the Austin-Round Rock market, but there is still enough demand to contribute to a healthy mix of uses downtown.
  3. There are various approaches to dealing with the pedestrian issues downtown, particularly when it comes to crossing Mays Street. We will be evaluating the trade-offs associated with those options as we explore them further this week.
  4. Neal also presented the idea of re-thinking how we define outdoor spaces. It is helpful, in this kind of urban planning, to think of the street as a room, with clearly defined edges and enclosures. Neal contends Mays Street can become a truly great street, one that's walkable and attractive that functions just as well for pedestrians as it does for vehicles.

Again, these are just a few of the highlights. There is more detail in the presentation, particularly on the economic analysis.

I'll share some of the comments and questions that were raised in yesterday's meetings in my next post. If you can't make it to the charrette, feel free to communicate with us via the blog.

Comments

Bob-o said:

Who are you Round Rock?  What are you Round Rock?  What do you spire to be Round Rock?  What makes you different from all the others?  Those questions need to be answered before any urban design takes place.  We are the home of the old west.  We were the jumping off place to the frontier.  This is where the railroad met the Chisholm Trail.  This is home of Barbette, the place where Sam Bass was shot and where Wes Hardin graduated from high school.  This was the banking capital of the cattle drives.  This is where the whore houses were.   Our history is so rich and so colorful.  We don't have to make anything up we only have to find out what is was.  If we could define our history through how we look we would have a gold mine.  Instead we are likely to become yet another place with no place there.

# January 13, 2009 4:10 PM
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