Center City hosts over 60 cities for conference aimed to help revitalize historic downtowns

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - This week, over 60 Main Street Managers from cities and towns throughout the state of Texas are joining together in Amarillo to provide one another with expertise, resources and support to preserve and revitalize historic downtowns and commercial neighborhood districts.

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This is the first time the week-long event has ever taken place in the Panhandle.

Beth Duke, executive director of Center City, said the event gives Amarillo an opportunity to display to other cities what we have to offer.

"They've taken walking tours, they've visited our restaurants and are staying downtown," said Duke. "This is a great way to showcase downtown, we want them to take this story back and tell their communities what we're doing in Amarillo to make downtown better."

Duke said revitalizing an existing building in a city or town adds to the local economy.

"It puts a building back on the tax rolls for a lot more value, so the property tax increases," said Duke "The other great thing is, these buildings were built at a time when construction was so important so they are so sturdy."

Executive Director of the Texas Historical Commission Mark Wolfe said the non-profit is impressed with the strides Center City is making to revitalize downtown.

"Amarillo has seen a huge amount of re-development in the last few years," said Wolfe.

Wolfe said, so much so, the entire commissioners board is set to visit Amarillo at the end of this month.

There are currently 88 communities that participate in the Texas Main Street network, ranging from rural to urban areas.

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