DALLAS -- Plans for the biggest downtown streetscape project yet -- improvements to the 800-900 block of Main Street -- took a step forward Monday night.
The Dallas Urban Renewal Agency Board approved proceeding with engineering plans for the preferred alternative design for the project.
The preferred design, which includes Main Street blocks between Mill and Washington streets, was derived through a series of public outreach efforts, including a survey, an open house and meetings with business and property owners along the stretch.
"This streetscape preferred alternative is the culmination of a year of work on the part of the Urban Renewal District Advisory Committee, as well as the agency," said Jason Locke, Dallas' community development director, at the agency's (which consists of the members of the city council) meeting Monday.
The preferred alternative is a "hybrid" option, taking the most popular elements of two of the three design alternatives presented to the public in the fall.
The option includes wider sidewalks, more street trees, decorative paving and planters and street furniture. The district advisory committee recommended the option for agency approval.
The cost of the work is estimated at this time at between $700,000 and $750,000, which will need to be paid for with an urban renewal loan or bond.
Completion of some work on the courthouse side of the 800 block will require permission and cooperation from Polk County. County officials have expressed concerns about elements that are planned for courthouse frontage and assurance of funding for facade building improvements to accompany the project. However, Locke said he is confident the city and county will be able to work together on the project.
Work is slated to begin in August, after Summerfest 2013.