Thursday, November 12, 2009

Brazos & IH-35 - SW Bank Proposals

Main Entertainment District
- "6th Street on the river"
- Food, booze & fun for Baylor students, young professionals and townies alike. Affordable drinks, mid-priced dining & lots of outdoor patios & balconies. A safe and fun area to all come hang out at night!

Similar Districts
- 6th Street
- Bricktown
- Riverwalk
- West End
- Kemah

Proposed Attractions
(Between N University Parks Dr & 4th St):
- Walkable "boardwalk" corridor from Franklin Ave to Cameron Park Zoo
- Senor Frogs
- Hula Hut
- Pei Wei or P.F. Chang's with light blue/lavender lanterns reflecting off water
- B&N & Starbucks for reading on the river
- Jamba Juice
- Ice creamery
- Carny foodstand
(Franklin Ave):
- Sam’s on the Square
- Alamo Drafthouse (in old Hippodrome)
- Cheesecake Factory
- Microbrewery
- Beer hall

Aesthetic Features
- Synchronized water fountains & laser light shows over river!

- Shaded outdoor patios/decks/balconies/cafes
- Live music on outdoor decks

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Brazos & IH-35 - NW Bank Proposals

Daytime Fun District
- Exotic & relaxing fun for tourists and all ages in the daytime.

Similar Districts
- Barton Springs Rd
- Salado

Proposed Attractions
- Neon WACO sign on Waco Suspension Bridge (or elsewhere)
- Waco history museum/visitor center with Huaco Indian artifacts
- Cuban restaurant (Chinese, Carribean & African fusion)
- Beatnix Coffeehouse
- Salsa & downhome country restaurant
- Farmer's market produce stand
- Half Price Books for reading on the river
- Mini-golf course
- Bat colony under the bridge as natural mosquito control and a cheap tourist attraction
- Shotgun’s Roadhouse (in revamped WaterWorks building)
- Botanical garden
- Paddleboat Gardens - clear-botttom paddleboats in small pond with koi
- Casino
- "Lake Brazos (Pkwy) Fair" or "Elm St Fair" - a clean, walkable bazaar lined with curio shops, booths, vendors, street musicians & performers, flea market, etc. (This neighborhood would have to be cleaned up, gentrified and well-secured first, though.)

Aesthetic Features
- Romantic brick, fire & water theme
- Outdoor fire pits

Monday, November 9, 2009

Brazos & IH-35 - NE Bank Proposals

Visitor Lodging
- Resort hotel
- Day spa/yoga studio

Proposed Attractions

(These are probably too high-end & upscale for Waco right now. We would need a larger, higher-income tax base before these alternatives could be considered in the future. Also, this quadrant really needs to be cleaned up, gentrified and well-secured first.)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Waco On The Waterfront

There are essentially 3 underdeveloped quadrants along the banks of the Brazos river on either side of IH-35. Which would be prime real estate for redevelopment due to its high visibility and the constant heavy traffic along IH-35.

NE Bank
NW Bank
SW Bank

Now space is tight in some of these areas, so these are just exercises in brainstorming for a few good, usable ideas. And any ideas could always be relocated down south along Franklin Ave.

In addition, there is currently also another great new center of development at the Central Texas Marketplace where Hwy 6 S intersects IH-35. With a lot more open real estate there to build upon, too.

So is Waco finally ready to revitalize, beautify and redefine itself? As a livable, or at least visitable, city? It obviously cannot compete head-to-head yet with its neighboring DFW or Austin giants...but perhaps it can compensate by offering a lower-cost, fun, new green detour?

Well if so, this blog has been created to suggest and solicit development proposals for such realistic goals. So, please contribute and comment! Let's get some group discussion started! Please throw out ideas or other good cities to model!