The former lumber yard and other buildings on this piece of land, which the city purchased 13 months ago, have now been removed, with the trees and other foliage remaining in place. It occupies one-fourth of the block framed by Preston, Cooper, and Main streets and Van Alstyne Parkway, with the city’s Public Works department occupying the remaining portions of the block.

However, Public Works is building a new facility on Spain Road, and expects to move there in early summer. City officials are considering, once the entire block is available to be used to its fullest potential, building a multi-use park there. City Manager Lane Jones said it is becoming “more and more important to think about downtown areas as central social districts and not simply central business districts. A downtown thrives when we create a place where people not only do business, but also decide to live, gather, and celebrate. Downtown is no longer primarily for shopping. It’s more about entertainment, dining, farmers markets, and active participation in the activities of the community, enjoying each other’s company.”

Jones has visited many of the city’s boards and corporations and laid out a conceptual vision for the property’s use. So far, the Chamber of Commerce, Keep Van Alstyne Beautiful, and the Community Development Corporation have endorsed the idea. Jones is dedicated to maintaining “the small-town feel that makes Van Alstyne so unique” during this time of the city’s upcoming rapid growth.