by Victor Lopez
MIDLAND--City leaders are putting the Midland Development Corporation's idea of "Creating a Shared Dream" to the test.
The vision the MDC wants to share is of a new, attractive and popular downtown. There may be hurdles to jump, but, if everyone gets their caps on straight now, the end result could be worth the effort.
According to Laura Roman with the MDC, "I want to know, when we're trying to lure businesses and lure the skilled workforce here, that we have a downtown that we can be proud of."
Whether it's a new place to eat, sleep or just hang out, the City of Midland is taking on a plan of renovations, already tackled by cities like Dallas and Denver. Some hurdles aren't as big as you would think.
"I think, when you start looking at other cities that have gone through the revitalization process, we're all, actually, very similar to each other. Obviously, Dallas has a larger population, but when you listen to the struggles that they had, they're very similar to ours," Roman said.
Members of the Midland City Council, county commissioners, business owners and any other interested group, got a first hand look at what lies ahead for Midland's downtown, another thing in common with the larger cities.
"Some of the similarities that we are finding is, bringing together these different groups, doing this true collaboration, so that we can make an incentive package and a development package of our downtown, that truly does lure new businesses, new retail and new residents to come downtown," Roman said.
Downtown Midland already has a lot to offer and room to grow. There's empty buildings that could easily be turned into residences and spaces for restaurants and shops. That's the groundwork needed to make the attraction even greater.
"That they will want to come here and will really enjoy the quality of place and the urban lifestyle that we can offer in Midland," Roman said.