Planning begins for downtown revitalization phase II

By Joshua Baethge
For the Van Alstyne Leader
Downtown streets would be repaved in the second phase of Van Alstyne’s downtown revitalization plan.

City Manager Lane Jones told the Van Alstyne City Council in his Nov. 9 report that early planning has begun on the second phase of the city’s downtown revitalization project. Pacheco Koch will serve as the landscape architectural firm and help the city with the planning stage.  Initial plans call for the downtown business district to be repaved with new concrete streets.  There will also be a new parking lot where the old railcars currently reside. Overhead utilities will be moved underground, and new streetlights, park benches and landscaping will be added 

“The Phase II project is fully funded vis the city issuing certificates of obligation and will not impact the current city taxing rate,” Jones says.  

As for the first redevelopment phase, Jones says that substantial progress has been made over the past month on the Central Social District Park. The expected completion date remains March 28, 2022.  Three events have already been booked. The city’s new events coordinator is working with a booking agency to plan a summer music series and other community activities. 

Jones also updated the council on several smaller infrastructure projects. At Forrest Moore Park, the baseball field renovations are now complete. New sod is currently taking root and should be ready for play next season. Tennis courts at the park have new screens and will get new nets after the new court surfaces are finished. The city is splitting the cost of the tennis court project with Van Alstyne ISD. 

The water and wastewater replacement project on Clements Street is now complete. The roadway was also repaved with asphalt. 

A similar project is now taking place along Dallas Street between Shreveport Street and Jefferson Street.  Waterline replacement and repaving are expected to be completed within the next two weeks. 

Utilities will soon be moved on Marshall Street to make way for a new water line.  Once that is installed, the city will pave the street in concrete to the US 75 service road. 

Plans are also being drawn up for a new water tower. It will be constructed west of US 75 and north of FM 121. Jones says he anticipates the project going out for bid in February with construction starting late next fall.  

“The construction of the new elevated storage tank will allow the city to keep pace with growth,” he says.