City of Amarillo applies for BUILD grant to revitalize downtown

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The City of Amarillo is hoping to receive millions in federal funding to revitalize streets in downtown Amarillo.

The BUILD Grant, funded from the U.S. Department of Transportation, is offering $1.5 billion to be split nationwide to enhance cities while supporting rural areas.

If Amarillo is awarded, the city hopes to leverage funds it already has for the Polk Street project and make improvements along 6th street.

BUILD, or Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development, is formally the TIGER grant.

Get the latest Amarillo news straight to your phone! Apple | Android

The City of Amarillo had applied for the TIGER Grant prior and was never selected.

"We've made numerous applications for this funding," said Jared Miller, City Manager for the City of Amarillo. "After each one, we've been working to refine each application to give us a better chance at getting this federal funding."

"This grant application technically is about $14 million," said Kyle Schniederjan, Director of Capital Projects and Development Engineering for the City of Amarillo. "What we're asking for to facilitate the redevelopment and rehabilitation of Polk Street from 2nd to 11th and 6th Street from Johnson to Grant."

Additional money would come from voter approved funding for the Polk Street project from Proposition 1.

"The rehabilitation of Polk Street was for about 5.5 million dollar, so we're proposing to utilize those funds as our local match requirement," said Schniederjan.

The focus of the BUILD grant would be a complete street concept.

This changes the focus from just car access to encouraging commerce and amenities inviting to pedestrians and bicyclists that would serve the entire region.

"The application does require and wants to encourage those projects that will extend past their construction border and have an impact outside of even the community that they're benefiting," said Schniederjan. "We focused on those commercial and entertainment impact across the Texas Panhandle."

The city says if it's unsuccessful in securing the grant, it'll still move forward with the redesign but the project won't span as far as the grant could allow.

Copyright 2018 KFDA. All rights reserved.