Downtown Amarillo Inc. proposes plans to revitalize Polk Street - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Downtown Amarillo Inc. proposes plans to revitalize Polk Street

Years of work have already been invested in the downtown revitalization effort in Amarillo and now Polk Street could finally be seeing its own pick-me-up.

"Polk street really is the one street downtown that needs to be friendly for pedestrians," said Melissa Dailey, Executive Director for Downtown Amarillo Inc.

Downtown Amarillo Inc. wants to remove the center turning lane from 2nd Street to 12th Street and extend the sidewalks.

"We would have about a 19 foot sidewalk which allows for sidewalk dining, plus your streetscape and pedestrian room to walk," added Dailey.

The group also wants to create a public improvement district and even add structure parking.

"The on-street parking would remain," explained Dailey. "But the structured parking would allow some of the buildings that don't have parking, especially larger buildings for employees to be able to park, to use the garage as well as visitors."

All to bring the action back downtown, something some local business owners think is long overdue.

"We need to have restaurants, we need to have entertainment at night, and we really haven't done a good job of that," said Richard Ware, President of Amarillo National Bank.

Ware feels Polk Street is the main downtown attraction, but may have been overlooked during much of the revitalization plans.

"Up until now, most of the money has been spent toward the Civic Center," said Ware. "Only five percent of the money has been spent on Polk Street so we want to shift those percentages to get more action back on Polk Street."

"It's also important to redevelop our main streets so we need to be working on both and the connectivity of both areas," added Dailey.

Which is why Ware feels this proposed $6 million Polk Street project is a win for everyone.

"This is what you think about when you think about downtown," said Ware. "We are so pleased to see other people getting enthused about it."

None of the plans are set in stone and Dailey said their first step is to find any possible funding sources for the project.

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