As the downtown Killeen streetscape project takes shape, the city’s project manager said it’s generating a lot of buzz among investors.
The project, which began in August 2012, is a city initiative to replace sidewalks, revamp streets, add landscaping, lighting, plazas and decorative crosswalks to downtown in an effort to attract residents, visitors and businesses to the area.
“With the streetscaping project nearing its end, we have a lot of businesses and property owners taking advantage of the facade grant program,” said Charlotte Humphreys, city downtown project manager. “We have a lot of interested investors asking a lot about downtown. A lot of interest has brewed up since the project is taking shape and nearing completion.”
The city’s planning and development services department is offering businesses in the downtown historic district opportunities to improve their facades through the grant program to enhance the overall look.
The city is offering funds as a subsidy, with the city funding 80 percent, up to $10,000, and the business funding 20 percent of the face-lift.
“I think people are starting to see the bigger picture, and we’re really excited for the city of Killeen and downtown,” Humphreys said.
Fourteen months into the $5.4 million project, Humphreys said it’s on track to be complete early next year.
The city was recently able to strike the completion of the midblock plazas along Avenue D from from its to-do list
“The midblock plazas are basically little areas that jut out into the street just a little bit and give people an opportunity to gather when downtown is hustling and bustling,” Humphreys said. “We are already seeing those being used since their completion.”
Sidewalks along Avenue C and D also were completed. Crews are installing decorative railing with more to come in the upcoming months, and the decorative crosswalks are being put in place.
Humphreys said once the crosswalks are complete, in the next few months, the roads will be paved and on-street parking will be available.
The project also includes a paved connector to the Andy K. Wells Hike and Bike Trail.
She said everything is on schedule for completion, with the finishing touches slated for just after the first of the year.