Historic Santa Fe Depot to become part of downtown revitalization

Historic Santa Fe Depot to become part of downtown revitalization
Source: KFDA

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The historic Santa Fe Depot in downtown Amarillo could soon have new life.

Two members of city council were appointed to a subcommittee this week to lead the initiative of what happens next for the historic Santa Fe Depot.

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The subcommittee appointed by Mayor Nelson consists of council members Hayes and Smith.

It comes after the city's reserve construction fund purchased the depot in 2014 for $2.6 million.

The depot itself was built in 1910 at a cost of $120,000.

"Creating a subcommittee on the Santa Fe Depot was to allow a couple of very specific council members to look into great detail," said Jared Miller, City Manager for the City of Amarillo. "Talk to community members, get a full understanding of what the opportunities and what the advantages are to each different opportunity they want to consider at that site."

Some in Amarillo have already considered what the historic building could become, the most popular idea being a museum.

"One idea is to make it a railroad museum," said Beth Duke, Executive Director of Center City in Amarillo. "We think it'd be a fun place to have a food truck court. There are a lot of ideas because it's such a beautiful part of downtown and being right there behind the Civic Center and the warehouse district. I know that area is going to really have a resurgence once the baseball team is playing at the stadium."

"We don't have any specific projects that would compete with that, but we definitely want a council subcommittee to evaluate everything," said Miller. "Then, at the appropriate time bring a recommendation to council or bring a request to council for additional research."
The depot and the event arena next door totals just under 50,000 square feet of space that the city says could vitalize more than just downtown.
"If we can bring in the right use there, it benefits the entire city," said Miller. "It has an economic development impact that could affect the entire city and really the region."

Both council and Center City hope the subcommittee and the community can turn this historic landmark into an active part of Amarillo's revitalization.

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