Downtown allen

The second phase of a Downtown Allen revitalization plan unofficially began on Friday as the city solicited community feedback.

Although the second phase’s community input initiative is not slated to officially start until December, members of Allen’s Downtown Steering Committee were handing out postcard surveys at an Allen High School football game Friday night to ask residents what they would like to see downtown.

“A number of individuals who took postcards asked, ‘Allen has a downtown? Where’s Allen’s downtown?’” said Tommy Baril, the chairman of the Downtown Steering Committee. “Some downtowns have very clear signage and it’s very obvious – you know you’re in downtown. Right now, my sense is that a lot of residents pass [Downtown Allen] without even realizing they’re actually in downtown.”

According to Baril, many residents said they wanted downtown to be a restaurant and entertainment destination.

City efforts to revitalize Downtown Allen have been officially underway since June, when Allen City Council appointed 13 Allen residents to the Downtown Steering Committee. Following this, the first phase of the project started when city staff began gathering zoning and finance data, a process that is anticipated to continue through February.

Committee member Mary Vail-Grube said downtown areas in cities like McKinney, Grapevine, Addison, Rockwall and Denton were influences in the initial conceptualization of the plan.

“Not saying we want to be exactly like those, but they have successfully implemented economically successful communities,” she said.

Community feedback is still underway. Baril said the committee is consulting nonprofits, homeowners associations, places of worship and 120 property owners who were identified as stakeholders.

More information on the committee and its downtown revitalization efforts can be found online at downtownallen.mysocialpinpoint.com.

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