Thursday, September 25, 2008

Imagine Brownsville Imagines a New Look for Downtown and Amigoland

Imagine Brownsville has recently come up with a proposal to revitalize downtown, not that this hasn’t been done before, and the area around the ITEC (former Amigoland Mall area) that looks into developing the river front from the Gateway International Bridge to Palm Blvd. This is an area that has been neglected for so long an is now time to see this area grow but only after we know what DHS is going to do regarding the border fence/wall.

After having read the Imagine Brownsville’s presentation on downtown revitalization, I was pleasantly surprised to see the Amigoland area where the ITEC is located included in the proposal. This presentation can be found at:

The last three pages of this presentation caught my eye the most since the rest of the presentation touches on the core of business district of downtown that has been dissected with a microscope over the decades. The only difference with the downtown presentation is the way the river front would be developed. Going back to the last three pages I was glad to see some “real” effort on developing the Amigoland area. One developer has already plunged his money in this effort with a planned subdivision at the end of Palm Blvd where the 21st Century Rides would locate during Charro Days.

The first phase of the development appears to be nearing completion as streets have already been built and paved near the Rio Grande River. I went by this area a few months ago and there are even street signs posted. So someone sees some future in this area but other than this developer, which has also cleared the once dried up Resaca and replenished it with water, no one else has been willing to risk or even look into the possibility of developing this area other than maybe UTB/TSC.

The proposed project would make the area including the ITEC into a Venice styled waterways creating one large island where the ITEC is and three smaller ones with residential and commercial development. One of these islands is a large park in the middle of the development connected with bridges. This is a fantastic idea and should be given further scrutiny by our city commission as a viable development that a private developer would be interested in doing. This size and scope of a project would be best built after the current economic crisis is over. I, for one will send the commission my tentative approval for such a development if a private developer builds it. Something like this would be a definite draw to downtown.

The rest of the proposal is also fantastic but will take a heavy involvement from the city, county, and private developers to make this happen. But knowing politics around hear, I’ll be happy to see even just a quarter of this proposal built.

After reading this presentation, please contact the city commission and let them know what you feel about this development.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in Brownsville, and I've been here all my life, I'd love to see this happen, but in reallty our city officials, have lost the love for this great city, I will always love Brownsville its my birth place, so I hope something positive for our Brownsville.

5:57 AM  

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