Study envisions new downtown, possible P3 project funding for Waco
Downtown Waco’s future may include a baseball stadium, cinema complex, performing arts center, a river boardwalk and a complex of large municipal and private office buildings. The plans are part of a consultant possible solution to consolidating scattered city operations and reimagining the downtown area from Mary Avenue to Waco Drive.
Schematic drawings show mid-rise office buildings and public parking around Heritage Square, including a 100,000-square-foot municipal building, a facility three times larger than the current City Hall.
Other proposed changes:
- Office buildings and parking garages west of Fourth Street alongside the ALICO Building and Roosevelt Tower.
- Multistory buildings on Austin Avenue, opening onto a new plaza across Washington.
- Indian Spring Middle School would be converted into a multi-block urban residential complex, with the track and field next to the school becoming a Double-A minor league baseball stadium and a cinema multiplex.
- A small “harbor” from the Brazos River would extend toward the stadium, offering a boathouse.
- A $100 million performing arts center on a 6-acre riverfront site.
- Razing the Waco Convention Center and Hilton Hotel and moving them to Franklin Avenue. That would allow a large green space from City Hall to the suspension bridge and riverfront.
City officials hope to publish a request for proposals later this year for the city parking lots around City Hall. Project funding will most likely take the form of a public-private partnership (P3), according to officials.