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TOPIC: Downtown Thoughts

Downtown Thoughts 5 years 3 months ago #7176

  • Scott
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I've read with interest all of the downtown discussions .... from past threads and the recent off-shoot from the "Imagination Mountain" thread.

There are many valid opinions, both from the pro-DT folks and the folks that are more than skeptical. As most that get the N-T know, the paper has been quite frankly a big supporter of the effort. Has it moved slower than we all would like? Most certainly. But it is moving.

As for the city's responsibilities, I think they have been handled quite well. The "presentation" of Main Street is outstanding (I know some of you think the roadway is too skinny, but I don't agree with that assessment) and I can't wait for the Connally Street and Heritage Square projects to begin. However, I agree wholeheartedly that the city has failed in keeping the old city library building in tip-top shape (or even presentable shape). I think that needs to be addressed.

When it comes to the actual buildings on Main Street, the responsibility lies with the building owners. The city has done its part with the matching grant funds (though it is yet to be seen how "business-friendly" officials will be with the permit process). The building owners HAVE to get into gear. We at Echo are just as culpable as other building owners. We own property on Main and have just now begun the renovation process. Why the delay? Because with the economic struggles going on, it simply was not "smart business" to be throwing money at projects -- especially before the building was ready to be occupied. But now we have a viable business ready to start, and so the building renovations are beginning so that business can proceed when they have their ducks lined up.

The point of this post? I guess to say that in the best of times, projects such as the Main Street renovation and the planning and implementation of new business concepts take time. In a struggling economy, that time can drag on longer than we like. But I, personally, am excited about the direction downtown Sulphur Springs is headed.

Now some of you folks try not to bash on me too hard! :P
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Re:Downtown Thoughts 5 years 3 months ago #7182

  • lighthousecollector
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The point of this post? I guess to say that in the best of times, projects such as the Main Street renovation and the planning and implementation of new business concepts take time. In a struggling economy, that time can drag on longer than we like. But I, personally, am excited about the direction downtown Sulphur Springs is headed.

Well said, Scott. :)
Guilt is concerned with the past. Worry is concerned about the future. Contentment enjoys the present.
Last Edit: 5 years 3 months ago by lighthousecollector.
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Re:Downtown Thoughts 5 years 3 months ago #7185

  • cityslicker
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I agree with the majority of your thoughts (still disagree about the width of Main Street). You made the comment "though it is yet to be seen how "business-friendly" officials will be with the permit process". Ever thought of going to interview the last few businesses that have come into downtown and find out their experiences with the city and the permitting process? I know LouViney Winery and Walker Hardwood are fairly new. It would interesting to see how they faired with the whole process and if they would do it again. If there is a problem it needs to be addressed now while the economy is slow and not when business picks up and the city winds up running off folks that are interested in coming to downtown.
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Re:Downtown Thoughts 5 years 3 months ago #7197

  • heartandmind
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cityslicker wrote:
I agree with the majority of your thoughts (still disagree about the width of Main Street). You made the comment "though it is yet to be seen how "business-friendly" officials will be with the permit process". Ever thought of going to interview the last few businesses that have come into downtown and find out their experiences with the city and the permitting process? I know LouViney Winery and Walker Hardwood are fairly new. It would interesting to see how they faired with the whole process and if they would do it again. If there is a problem it needs to be addressed now while the economy is slow and not when business picks up and the city winds up running off folks that are interested in coming to downtown.

great idea! that would be of interest to those that might be in a position to affect any changes - and potential business owners as well.
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Re:Downtown Thoughts 5 years 3 months ago #7198

  • Sammie
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Rita Edwards might be the one to check with, however, she may be slightly bias.
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Re:Downtown Thoughts 5 years 3 months ago #7201

  • momof3
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The city has already run off folks wanting to come to DT. I know of one on Connally street. Seems like the city is promoting to out of towners, ie-Lou Viney and the proposed Steak House. And some folks wonder why people get put out with the city. Maybe the city should support their own in order to receive support from their own!
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Re:Downtown Thoughts 5 years 3 months ago #7205

  • jbourne
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Which downtown building are ya'll renovating and what is going in there???
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Re:Downtown Thoughts 5 years 3 months ago #7206

  • terrymathews
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I live in Winnsboro and we tried very hard to keep LouViney in town. They were a real asset. However, they had a chance to purchase a building (they rented here), so I can't blame them for moving. We miss them.

I don't remember them saying that Sulphur Springs recruited them. It was more like they had a chance to purchase a building and the building happened to be in Sulphur Springs.

Our Main Street project took a long time to complete, with delays and all, but I think most of the businesses in town would say it was worth it. Along with the downtown work, TxDOT also chose to widen Main Street, give us some turning lanes and broaden two intersections, which have really helped with traffic. We don't have a loop, so a lot of truck come right down Main Street and having the turning lanes has helped a lot.

I think the Sulphur Springs square is headed in the right direction and wish them well with their future plans.
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Re:Downtown Thoughts 5 years 3 months ago #7207

  • cityslicker
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I've talked to the owners of LouViney and they told me that Maxwell came to them when he heard they were thinking of closing their Mineola winery (they were having issues with the building and the owners wouldn't fix it). From what I heard, Maxwell and Johnny Vance met with them and showed them why they would be better off in SS. Once they made the decision, they also decided it made more sense to close in Winnsboro since a new owner of that building had taken over. They live in Pickton so it's not like they are out of towners. They have commented that they are very glad they are in SS and hope to stay a very long time.
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Re:Downtown Thoughts 5 years 3 months ago #7208

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I forgot to mention - the owner of the proposed steak house lives in Como. Still not an out-of-towner....
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Re:Downtown Thoughts 5 years 3 months ago #7211

  • momof3
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Maybe not to you an out of towner, but to me. Both these businesses were not in SS nor Hopkins County. I think it is great we have some businesses moving into the buildings DT, but I would like to see the city promote SS businesses also. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with promoting and helping your hometown, but then I guess that is why I am not on the council or board. Maxwell is nothing but a country club ornament. We had a great steakhouse in town with Longhorn. Guess the city didn't want to keep the locals. Plus, if Feagley would get off his lazy end and promote something beneficial to SS, so what if it takes a vote, then VOTE. But why not use the resources for something? Even if he doesn't want to put retail to a vote, then use it to promote and enhance. Use it to entice and draw. He could do so much more than what he is.

In my opinion, the city is notorious for NOT taking action until the situation is so dire in need that it takes 3 times what it would have to rectify the situation if it were acted on sooner. Why put things off? Let's start on the old library building now before it is too late. That should take priority over a park in the middle of the square.

I don't see how TxDot widened Main. Turning off the square is a hazard. And the only intersection widened was the one at Main and Davis and that is because they took the old right turn out. Anyone that thinks main is wide enough must drive a little foreign car instead of a farm truck. But it is impossible to stay in your lane when grandpa parks his caddy 10 feet from the curb.
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Re:Downtown Thoughts 5 years 3 months ago #7213

  • townsend
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I disagree about the width of the Con. St. as do most of the public. If we all drove jeeps it would be a different story. I am 100% sure Mrs. Edwards and Mr. Maxwell are biased. But they have both put a lot of work and time into something they believe in. I feel it will be in vain- but hope not.
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Re:Downtown Thoughts 5 years 3 months ago #7215

  • cityslicker
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Just to clarify some things: ArtsJunkie was talking about TxDot widening Main Street in Winnsboro. Also the Longhorn wasn't in the city.
I agree about the old library. It's getting worse by the day.
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Re:Downtown Thoughts 5 years 3 months ago #7216

  • Jman
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The good thing about the Winnsboro main street project is that, like Mineola and Fredricksburgh, Winnsboro's main street is a major traveld road (Hwy 37). Sulphur Springs' down fall and yet greatest asset is I-30. Momof3 with the risk of sounding sarcastic, I think you should run for city council. Maybe even get another person with similar views to run also. I know you've said you thought about it, I think, But why not?
Down town bussiness owners do need to acomidate their customers and not park in the main parking spots like Wal Mart employees :).
There also needs to be a greater variety of stores maybe without the outrages prices. If I'm wrong on the price topic let me know.
And last as I stated in the other forums, Hwy 11/Loop will creat more stores, restaurants, and strip malls causing another blow to downtown.
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Re:Downtown Thoughts 5 years 3 months ago #7217

  • momof3
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cityslicker wrote:
Just to clarify some things: ArtsJunkie was talking about TxDot widening Main Street in Winnsboro. Also the Longhorn wasn't in the city.
I agree about the old library. It's getting worse by the day.

My bad, I thought this was about SS. I dont know what Winnsboro has. Longhorn may have been located outside the city limits, but it is still the city, not Como or Pickton or Winnsboro. I am not as critical as you slick. I am sure at the time it was located outside the limits so the bar could be open. To go around the non-permitting city!

No, never CC. Bradley Edge should have been elected. He would have made a positive change. See, I am not of the 'ss elite', even though I have family members who are. I would not want to be in their clique. I received several graduation invitations this year. Some from every day average joe working class families. Don't get me wrong, one was a cheerleader, just not the 'elite' group. Some from the elite group. I sent the same to them all. I received the thank-you notes from the average joe working class kids, nary a one from the elite group kids. Thanks just the same, but I like to present class, not be of a class.

The biggest sound-off we heard about the school bond was, it won't get any cheaper, prices are steadily going up. I guess now those guys need to preach it to the city. If you can get a matching grant, hey, apply for it! Research the subject, see what can be done. I had suggested that the city talk to EDC about making the old building into the city hall. EDC can fund that project. We need action!
Last Edit: 5 years 3 months ago by momof3.
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