Long time coming?
The Central Business District has not had a retail corridor since the 1960s, when Main Street between Broadway and Walker Avenue was home to several theaters, John A. Brown’s Department Store, a Zale’s Jewelry store, clothing stores, shoe stores, coffee shops and restaurants.
The buildings were acquired by Urban Renewal and demolished, and Main Street itself was removed as the city pursued development of a Galleria shopping mall. That dream went unrealized, and the former shopping corridor now is the site of two parking garages and Devon Energy Center.
Colgan said the Central Business District has failed to develop a new retail corridor despite a growing workforce, several hotels, and venues that include the Myriad Gardens, a library and convention center. Park Avenue, meanwhile, has a string of storefronts at First National Center, City Place Tower, Robinson Renaissance and other buildings that, with upcoming street improvements, can be better promoted as a unified shopping corridor.
“The Central Business District has lacked a cohesive and concentrated retail and dining component since Main Street radically transformed decades ago,” Colgan said. “It’s an under-served market both in terms of demand and in comparison with other cities. This is a perfect place to create a confluence of retail and dining opportunities.”
At a glance
Deadline set for proposals
Consultants will have until March 7 to submit proposals to complete a study of enhancing Park Avenue between Harvey Avenue and Broadway as a retail corridor. The request for proposals asks that the consultants create a plan to guide future city involvement, examine the potential of making Park Avenue an upgraded urban retail street capable of capturing existing and future demand, drive higher sale tax revenue and become a “great street” that enhances prominence and desirability of the Central Business District.
One consultant will be tasked with advising how to recruit and sustain retail and what kind of space will be needed. A design consultant will be hired to assist the city and partners in creating a supply of well designed retail spaces within existing buildings, utilize outdoor plazas as amenities, streamline building improvements with planned street improvements as part of Project 180, and integrate other components such as signage, awnings and way finding.