Galveston May Try Major Downtown Renovation

Galveston May Try Major Downtown Renovation
Photo courtesy Downtown Galveston

Former Galveston Mayor Barbara Crews is spearheading a proposal to spend $20 million in Ike-recovery funds to renovate the downtown area, a project which would eventually cost $70 million.

The plan would turn parking lots into green spaces and use "the very good bones" of the historic buildings downtown in a way that would attract more retail, she tells Hair Balls.

"We've got to look like we care about our downtown," she says. The project includes a major park south of Harborside Drive.

She and others raised $550,000 in private funds (an additional $50,000 came from the city) to do a comprehensive study that looked not only at regional economic conditions and potential, but also how to actually get the plan implemented.

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"This is not going to be one of those plans that sits on a shelf for 20 years," she said.

The Galveston County Daily News reports that the proposal got a pretty positive reaction from the mayor and city council yesterday.

Galveston is due for a new round of $100 million in Ike-recovery funds this spring, and Crews is asking that about $20 million of that be applied to Phase 1 of the proposed downtown project.

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