Conroe is still thinking about ways to get people to visit their downtown area.
Consultant Roger Brooks told city officials that the key to revitalizing a downtown area is to find a niche and brand it. That means finding what's unique about Conroe and building upon it, he said.
Brooks said he thinks Conroe's niche to promote downtown could be dining and live entertainment. The city already has the Crighton Theatre and Heritage Place, an outdoor concert area, in the downtown area. The city could adopt the slogan, "Conroe Live," he said.
The branding and slogan, along with a logo, would need to be used on street signs and maps for theme continuity.
Conroe also would need to consider creating a pedestrian center, possibly on Main and Simonton streets, in the heart of downtown. Brooks envisions a center with wide sidewalks, water features, seating areas and lots of trees and shrubs.
He also suggested more amenities, including a new 800-seat performing arts center, an expanded Crighton Theatre and an updated Heritage Place that could be converted into an outside amphitheater and a multi-use theater.
In addition to entertainment, the area needs 34 new shops, restaurants and businesses, including three pubs with entertainment, two coffee shops, three delis, a magazine/news stand and a bookstore to create critical mass, Brooks said.
''Conroe needs to raise the bar," Brooks said. ''A lot of the shops are marginal."
The price to make downtown Conroe a showpiece would run about $25 million, he said.
Maybe this can work, I don't know. It feels like a big gamble to me, though. Anyone in the area care to comment?Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 01, 2005 to Elsewhere in Houston | TrackBack