Apr 20th 2023 | Posted in Public-Private Partnerships (P3) by Texas Government Insider

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.

artist rendering brazos river harbor city of waco 300x169 Study envisions new downtown, possible P3 project funding for Waco

Photo: Artist rendering of the proposed Brazos River harbor. Courtesy of the city of Waco.

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.