The Historic Downtown Conroe Main Street Advisory Board presented recommendations for future economic vitality, downtown redesign and promotional efforts for 2023-25.

The Main Street Advisory Board is charged with creating a three-year strategic plan to enhance economic development and historic preservation in Downtown Conroe, according to the plan. During an April 12 City Council meeting, the chairs and representatives of the organization, economic vitality, design and promotions committees spoke about ways to enhance tourist appeal throughout Downtown Conroe.

“Conroe will be a vibrant local, regional and tourist destination replete with community, cultural, economic, educational, historical and social activities for current and future generations,” according to the plan.

Carla Alsandor, chair of the organization committee, said in an interview that each recommendation listed under the committees are ordered by the priority of the advisory board.

Within the organization committee, the board recommends re-establishing Conroe Live, Alsandor said during the meeting. Conroe Live is a nonprofit that applies for grants and fundraising for Main Street, Alsandor said in an interview. According to the plan, once re-established, the board will be the main fundraising arm for Conroe Main Street.

“[The Historic Downtown Conroe Main Street Advisory Board] is just an advisory board to the council,” Alsandor said. “So we need a fundraising arm to be able to do anything.”

According to the presentation, economic vitality recommendations included reusing developments of buildings and different vacant lots that are owned by the city, offer incentive grants to businesses that need financial assistance for small improvements and offer support to downtown businesses to keep them downtown.

On the design side, the plan outlines a recommendation to design, order and install pedestrian wayfinding signs throughout downtown. Larry Foerster, chair of the design committee, said the committee recommended adding historical markers downtown, adding public restrooms in Founders Plaza, and increasing and repairing lighting within the downtown area so pedestrians will feel more comfortable navigating the streets at night.

Promotions committee recommendations included determining and seeking approval for the purchase and installation of an electronic sign that will advertise and promote Downtown Conroe events. Alsandor said another recommendation is to arrange speaking engagements to promote Historic Downtown Conroe.

Council members said they look forward to receiving a priority list and working with the advisory board.

“We are excited about the interest council has shown,” said Rodney Pool, chair of the The Historic Downtown Conroe Main Street Advisory Board. “It sounds like they are all endorsing it. ... Now we have a structure to work with; we are excited.”