Goodman Corp Releases Draft of Downtown Giddings Economic Development Plan

14 Sep 2020

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Downtown Giddings Economic Development Plan          

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With six months of research under their belt, the Goodman Corporation of Houston has released a draft of the city's proposed Downtown Giddings Economic Development Plan.  The plan provides goals and recommendations to support and strengthen the economic vitality and resiliency of Downtown Giddings. Prior to adopting the plan, the Giddings Economic Development Corporation and the City of Giddings, respectively, will share findings from the report at two upcoming meetings:

Giddings Economic Development Corporation Board Meeting: Starts at 5:30pm on Monday, September 14, 2020. See agenda for call in information

City Council Meeting: Starts at 7:00pm on Monday, September 28, 2020 in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 118 E Richmond Street

The plan, which was paid for through a grant provided by the Texas Department of Agriculture and built around stakeholder interviews, surveys and demographic and market analysis, includes a variety of tactics witthin a range of magnitudes, time frames, and investment levels.  The plan is designed to incorporate the following goals:  Align activities among public partners; maintain and enhance the city's identity as a unique and desirable place; prioritize public investment in downtown Giddings; improve the public realm in downtown Giddings; better connect civic assets to downtown Giddings; and support the availability and development of quality housing stock through infill redevelopment. Though diverse, the recommendations are united in envisioning a revitalized downtown Giddings that extends in both impact and boundaries beyond the city's current downtown district. 

While a few of the more impactful and expensive recommendations are unique, several are already under consideration. The City and the GEDC recently entered the final stages of consideration for a federal Economic Development Administration grant to pay for some infrastructure projects including paving a downtown parking lot and extending water lines to the Sterling Theater building; and several years ago, the GEDC began exploring an upgrade to the city's entrance signage.   

Once adopted, the Downtown Giddings Economic Development Plan will serve as the city's official guide for land use and development in the downtown area.  It will act as a "road map" for the next 3-5 years, detailing a vision and policy agenda for important issues such as land use, development, beautification, parking, pedestrian mobility, and circulation. Ultimately, the plan will seek to answer, "What will our downtown look like in the future? How will it be used? How will we leverage public/ private resources? and most importantly, How do we get there?"

Proposed Solutions Are On Trend

The proposed plan aligns with national trends identified by the National League of Cities their sixth annual State of the Cities report released in 2019.  Infrastructure ranked as one of the top topics.  Issues and subtopics for the report were derived from the State of the City speeches delivered between January and April 2019.  Topics needed to be mentioned at least 10 percent of a speech to be included in the report.

The league identified 10 major issues and 185 related subtopics, infrastructure ranked second at 57 percent, after economic development.  Infrastructure has climbed in the rankings over the past four years. Topics concerning mayors included ways to improve access to amenities and enhance safety, traffic calming strategies and flow improvements, pedestrian safety and technology-driven solutions to traffic.