By Taylor Short
The Cove Herald
While the Copperas Cove downtown master plan is currently unfunded, it continues to serve as a guide for businesses looking to move into the area.
A few businesses that have recently set up or plan to set up shop downtown have used the two-year-old plan as a guide.
"Folks will come over and consult it to have an idea of what the master plan indicates what the look and feel of downtown should be," said Monica Hull, Economic Development Corp. Marketing Director.
The five phase plan includes building improvements as well as guidelines for visual planning, such an earth-tone-and-limestone color scheme and cattle and farming design theme.
Recent moves downtown include the Fellowship Cove church, which relocated to W. Avenue D, between Main Street and Farm to Market 116 Sunday to have more space to worship.
Last month, Bros. Biker Bar moved into the space previously occupied by the Downtown Community Center and a spa business is set to take over the building further down the road at Farm to Market 116 and Avenue D.
Local developer Jack Smith, who owns several spaces in the Avenue D strip, said his company made improvements in concordance with the plan when he built the Coryell County Tax Office on 2nd Street, improved the building on the corner of Ave. D and 3rd Street, remodeled the building next to Cove Theatre.
While other buildings downtown have been recently purchased, including the Cove Theatre, said Betty Price, Chamber of Commerce vice president, no plans have been announced for their use.
"It would be great if it could stay a theatre, something where groups could perform and you could still see some family-oriented shows," she said.
The downtown plan was produced in January 2008, commissioned by the Copperas Cove Economic Development Corp. to improve the visual
character and quality of downtown, improve the pedestrian environment and provide the area with a sense of identity, according to the plan.
It contains five phases of improvements for streets, sidewalks, landscaping, lighting, benches, open spaces and parking to the area between Avenue F and Avenue D and between 3rd and 4th streets.
The plan totaled around $10 million and the city began a grant application to help fund the improvements in mid-2008, but was not approved.
City Engineer Wesley Wright has said that the plan is more of a "want" than a "need" at this time, but that the plan could be included in the city's capital improvement plan update this summer with a similar cost.
Price said that the chamber would encourage businesses to move into the downtown area if it is appropriate for the type of business. Some businesses could benefit from U.S. Highway 190's traffic instead.
"So, hopefully there will be a big change in the downtown area and we can get some of these business and building owners to participate downtown even more," Price said.
Contact Taylor Short at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7476. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcove.