The Montrose tax-increment reinvestment zone has signed a contract with the Houston-Galveston Area Council to formally participate in the agency's Livable Centers program. Architecture firm Asakura Robinson will lead the effort, which will take nine months to a year to complete.
The study will be used to inform the TIRZ and other entities about the needs of the neighborhood and the potential for infrastructure and development improvements, Montrose TIRZ board member Joe Webb said.
"This is a mobility and transportation study at its heart," Webb said. "But it is also about determining whether the TIRZ is on the right track ... and asking what issues are driving your neighborhood?" The TIRZ has an approved budget of $167 million, based on projected revenues over the next 25 years, according to city records. Its project budget is divided into four categories—corridor improvements, affordable housing, parking and cultural amenities.
The study could help inform which projects the TIRZ should tackle, Webb said. In addition to formal stakeholder meetings, focus groups and public comment meetings, the study will use "pop up" input opportunities and surveys to collect residents' voices, said Patti Joiner, principal of the planning consultancy Knudson LP. "We want to reach all kinds of people, and most people are busy and can't make it out to every meeting, so we're excited to do some things to do that engagement," Joiner said.
As part of the arrangement, the TIRZ will contribute about $40,000 of the $200,000 contract, with the rest covered by HGAC. Public input opportunities could start April or May and continue throughout the year.