Home News Local News Council approves changing economic districts’ boundaries

Council approves changing economic districts’ boundaries

0
Submitted Graphic This MainStreet Roswell graphic shows the proposed location of its Market Walk project. The blue area would be for parking and the green area would be for events and the market area. The pink line indicates the alleyway that would be developed into a landscaped pathway to connect the area to other parts of the city. The red area is private property.

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

The boundaries for MainStreet Roswell and the Railroad District Metropolitan Redevelopment Area have been expanded, following action by the Roswell City Council.

During its Thursday night meeting, the City Council passed the consent agenda, which included the two items about the changes to the boundaries of the economic districts.

The expansions had been approved previously by the Finance Committee of the city council, and city staff said that New Mexico MainStreet already had given preliminary approval for the MainStreet Roswell change.

MainStreet Roswell has expanded its district to accommodate the planned Market Walk project and to be able to accept funding for its development.

City staff said that the Railroad District MRA expansion will enable the city to incorporate the MainStreet Roswell area into the MRA, as well as include a larger area of the city for future economic revitalization efforts.

Support Local Journalism
Subscribe to the Roswell Daily Record today.

MainStreet Roswell is planning to create the Market Walk in the downtown area. It would include a market area, an event venue, landscaped walkways and paths, and a parking lot.

It is expected to be developed from South Virginia to South Grand Avenue from west to east, and from around East Second to East Walnut streets from north to south. That makes the project a bit to the south and east of the original MainStreet Roswell district.

The revision incorporates the project and enables MainStreet to accept a $100,000 grant from New Mexico MainStreet and the New Mexico Economic Development Department to prepare construction documents that will guide design and construction of the Market Walk. The city of Roswell is also contributing $20,000 at this time.

“It is a small addition to the MainStreet Roswell district, but it will have a major benefit,” said Kathy Lay, executive director of the local organization. “This expansion will allow the Great Blocks Capital Outlay project (Market Walk) to be eligible for additional grant funding.”

She expressed her appreciation for the city’s actions. In an earlier interview, she indicated that businesses within the expanded district are now eligible for grants specific to MainStreet organizations, as well as free training or seminars offered by the local group.

The Railroad District Metropolitan Redevelopment Area has existed since 2016. MRAs are recognized by state statutes as areas in need of economic revitalization, with additional funding mechanisms available to assist with redevelopment.

Community Development Manager Bill Morris said the city originally wanted to focus only on the downtown railroad area of Virginia Avenue to Third Street and East Second Street to East Eighth Street. But now the city thinks a larger area needs to be included to encourage visitor and business traffic through the area.

As a result, the MRA has expanded a bit in all directions, but its major changes include expansion to the west to Richardson Avenue, expansion to the south to the Hondo River and expansion to the north around 11th Street and the Roswell Museum and Art Center.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 351, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.