The city of Nacogdoches takes its first steps in studies aimed at transforming the city center

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) – The City of Nacogdoches is planning four studies to transform its downtown. City leaders met with a design team for the first time on Wednesday to begin the first stages of outreach.

Jessica Sowell, assistant director of community services, said the downtown master plan will look at scenarios to improve the downtown environment.

“We have a downtown master plan from 1974 that is a bit outdated. So what this plan is going to look at is how people get around downtown, how they live downtown, and how they experience our historic downtown plaza,” Sowell said.

Alaina Helton, the city’s director of planning and neighborhood services, said she hired DTJ Design to conduct four studies.

They include the overall plan, an I-69 corridor plan, a housing needs assessment, and a downtown master plan.

“So it will be a report on the existing conditions. In fact, it’s a background report on where the city is in terms of our infrastructure, facilities, amenities and things like that. Really capturing the city environment,” Helton said.

Sowell said the goal is to lay the groundwork for the next 20 years by providing a blueprint for how to move forward, but the city hopes to hear from the community.

“All of our meeting notifications, as well as recordings of all of those meetings, are on, so if you want to come to the meetings, we’ve listed it here,” Sowell said.

Helton said DTJ Design’s involvement in steering committees will help the city be more strategic in the decision-making process.

“It helps us be more competitive whenever we seek grants for quality of life equipment and when we seek jobs to improve the quality of life in our community,” Helton said.

The city of Nacogdoches estimates that this research and awareness stage will take approximately 15 to 18 months. The plans will then be presented to City Council for approval.

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