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Waco releases details of new $180 million downtown development

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I'm trying not to get too excited about this one since similar projects pop up every few years, never to be heard from again after the initial hubbub dies down and the people involved fail to get the funding they need. But I'm failing.

According to the WacoTrib, Waco City Manager Larry Groth released the details of a massive investment project today that would change the face of downtown Waco and the area adjacent to the Brazos River. The proposal, the only bid submitted in response to Waco's invitation, includes plans for hotels, restaurants, a movie theater, and several other major construction projects. Like I said, this would be absolutely huge for Waco's continued development should it actually come to pass.

Also like I said, however, I'm trying to temper my enthusiasm given that we've walked down this road before. At least this time, the guys involved actually own a large section-- nearly all, it seems-- of the land needed to make the development reality. Funding will no doubt be a serious issue to overcome, but there's one big change from every previous iteration: Baylor Stadium. Baylor's investment, partnering with the City of Waco, and the infrastructure being built along I-35 on that side of the river should pay tremendous dividends down the road, and this may be the first we're seeing of those dividends. I can't help it; I'm excited.

UPDATE: KWTX actually has renderings accompanying the proposal. The view in the first rendering looks SW from north of the stadium site.