Marshall holds public forum for downtown project

Local News

MARSHALL, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – People in Marshall are speaking out about a proposed downtown development project.

The five-phase plan has been in the works since last summer. At Thursday’s city commission meeting, several folks had the chance to voice their thoughts.

Marshall City Manager Mark Rohr said the city’s downtown hasn’t seen a major redevelopment for 15 years. He said the proposed downtown transformation is the result of the community’s interest in improving the area.

“Just to make downtown a destination,” Rohr said. “To revitalize it.”

Rohr presented the proposed plan to the city commission in November. Now it’s the public’s turn to offer opinions on the project.

“There’s a possibility we could incorporate some of those ideas into the plan,” said Rohr. “It’s not so far along that there can’t be modifications or changes made to it.”

Part of the proposed plan includes turning the parking lot east of the old Harrison County courthouse into greenspace. But, the suggested green area has some residents seeing red. The proposal would change the traffic pattern around the courthouse.

“I don’t like that because it would definitely kill business downtown,” said Rex Brown II. “It would just shut it down and slow it down.”

Other parts of the plan include adding a trail, improving the streetscape and growing a tribute to a famous former resident, Lady Bird Johnson.

“There are other parts of the plan that I didn’t get into that I’m not 100 percent sure I like, but I’m thrilled about the Lady Bird garden,” said Jerry Graves. “That’s been talked about for years.”

City leaders hope to begin work on the project this spring. Once construction begins, they expect the project to take a couple years to complete.

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