Business owners discuss future of Downtown Kyle
Finding ways to improve the economic vitality of Kyle’s downtown sector in the future was the focus of an Oct. 18 stakeholders meeting at City Hall.
The meeting, led by Kyle City Manager Scott Sellers and Julie Snyder, Kyle Area Chamber of Commerce CEO, sought input from downtown business owners and neighbors to craft goals for the heart of the city.
Kyle’s downtown square is closer to a downtown triangle with storefronts claiming only two sides of west Center Street and Main Street. Business owners said they would like to see the area offer more storefronts, as well as residential space such as lofts and apartments, spread across the rest of the space to complete a full downtown square.
Kyle City Council members Alex Villalobos, Tracy Sheel and Mayor Travis Mitchell expressed their goal to showcase downtown as both the main attraction of the city and a place for both tourists and citizens to enjoy.
“We want to follow a 10-10-10 model,” Sellers said. “We want to have 10 dining destinations, 10 retail shops and 10 places open after 6 p.m. for entertainment.”
Before working in Kyle, Sellers worked in several other cities across the state and has visited many downtowns to do research on why some spots are successful and why some are not. Sellers said downtown business owners should also consider how they themselves shop.
“You go out after business hours and you spend your money on food and things you can do with your family, and that’s all after 6 p.m,” Sellers said.
Sellers said he would like to see downtown function like a mall – a square with multiple options for spending, that open and close around the same time.
Will Caldwell, owner of Dojo Kyle, said he would like to see downtown become an active center for families; stakeholders unanimously agreed.
“We’re saying there needs to be more density downtown,” Caldwell said. “As someone who lives down here and has friends come into town, we wonder what we’re going to do here.”
The majority of business owners present reported that their businesses were doing well and that they welcome similar businesses to join in an effort to give people options and drive competition. Other additions to downtown that were suggested include crosswalks and employee parking separate from customer parking.
“We need to make it easier to get to multiple stores and to park somewhere,” said Cathy Lemoine, owner of the Out of The Blue salon.
Lemoine said she moved her salon out of Downtown San Marcos after construction and parking issues drove her out of town and into Kyle.
Official plans have not been made, but the city anticipates holding future meetings with city leaders and Kyle residents. Developments will depend on realty investors and construction on Burleson Street to complete the downtown square.