Downtown Plano receives accolades as city’s new arts district

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chalk it up

The Historic Downtown Plano Association hosted Chalk It Up on Aug. 15 in Haggard Park. The event showcased work by professional and novice artists. (via Kelley Crimmins/Community Impact Newspaper)

Downtown Plano is expected to experience continued growth well into 2016. With mixed-use developments like Junction 15 now complete and a new one set to replace Municipal Center South, the historic area attracts visitors from Plano and surrounding communities across the region, said Phyllis Jarrell, special projects director for the city of Plano.

“This is a continued testament to downtown’s revitalization. It’s an area where developers can have successful projects; that wasn’t always the case,” she said.

Historic Downtown Plano was also formally designated as the city’s arts district in August. In October, The American Planning Association named the district one of four “Great Neighborhoods” on the organization’s annual Great Places in America list. Downtown Plano became only the second North Texas neighborhood to make the list since its inception in 2007. Fair Park in Dallas was designated a Great Public Space in 2011.

Merchants formed the Historic Downtown Plano Association in 2007. It created the Public Improvement District in December 2014 to fund development and improve the downtown area. PID funding, which was initiated and governed by property owners, has been used to help rebrand the HDPA. An informal arts coalition is being organized and will include representatives from downtown Plano and various local arts organizations.

With McCall Plaza expected to be complete by early March, Jarrell said visitors can expect to see growth in special annual events like Night Out on 15th and Steinfest.

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