The city of Kingsville is going the extra mile tomorrow to help promote re-development in its downtown shopping district. It’s hosting what’s called an "Imagine the Possibilities" tour.
Kingsville may not be one of the oldest cities in Texas but it has a truly rich and varied history that folks there are quite proud of. Tomorrow’s tour in conjunction with the Texas Historical Commission is the latest effort to showcase historical buildings downtown and their possibilities to developers and entrepreneurs interested in restoration and preservation projects.
Kingsville City Manager Jesus Garza says. "A lot of times, communities like us here in Kingsville don’t generally get a lot of attention, so being part of projects like these are critical to expose our opportunities to these developers and other partners that may exist, that just don’t know about Kingsville and what we have to offer."
For the past several years the city commission and the city have focused on revitalizing the historic downtown shopping area along West Kleberg Avenue. There have been infrastructure improvements, efforts to make it more pedestrian friendly, and multi-use ordinances to create more types of redevelopment opportunities.
"Of course on the west side of downtown we have the anchors of Harrell’s Drug Store as well as the King Ranch Saddle Shop. And just a block down at Kleberg and 7th, the city partnered with A&M-Kingsville to build a new innovation lab for the engineering department… that will anchor the middle section of downtown and attract more students to the area," Garza said.
But two blocks down further east needs a lot of work. And a potential anchor for the east end of downtown is the old Texas Theater here at Kleberg and 8th street. It’s vacant know. and in need of some T-L-C. But mayor Sam Fugate says in it’s heyday back in the 50’s and 60’s, the Texas theater was a big part of growing up in Kingsville. He told us he got his first kiss there, and he’d love to see the old theater become a popular destination again, attracting a new generation of residents.
And according to a 2016 feasibility study by the Texas Historical Commission that is very doable. It concluded the costs of modernizing the building would be reasonable, and that it has the potential to be a game-changer, serving as an activity center to draw more people and more business to the downtown area.
All it and the neighboring buildings need are interested developers. And attracting them is the purpose of tomorrow’s tour.
Kingsville ‘s entire inventory of the properties available in the downtown area can also be viewed online now. Just go to http://Downtowntx.org and you’ll find pictures, property descriptions, maps and available incentives.