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Downtown Kyle revival in the works

By Megan Wehring

KYLE — A downtown square with the hustle and bustle of new retail establishments and restaurants has been long overdue for the city of Kyle. The city council approved a $93,700 landscape design contract with Coleman and Associates for Mary Kyle Hartson Park and 104 S Burleson on Wednesday, Nov. 4. 

Downtown areas in neighboring cities like San Marcos attract visiting tourists and business openings. Council member Tracy Scheel said she hopes the revival of the city park will welcome new people and establishments to Kyle.

“I think it’s important that we make our city square park our gold standard for our downtown area and our parks system,” Scheel said. “This park is part of our history of Kyle. It will also help increase the foot traffic of the downtown corridor to help also increase the businesses in the downtown corridor.”

Coleman and Associates has vast, statewide experience in landscape design from Kyle Field in College Station to the downtown Austin Library, according to council member Dex Ellison. He also explained that he is confident that they are the best fit for the job. 

The downtown area in Kyle looks different compared to other cities due to surrounding residential property, yet council member Robert Rizo said the city can do better with the square park. 

“I see towns smaller than ours that have amazing small courthouses with beautiful landscaping around it,” Rizo told the city council. “I look forward to seeing families out there enjoying shade, the beautiful landscape and it being a meeting place for the residents of Kyle. It’s a long time coming and I am glad we are getting there.”

While he agrees with the landscape design contract, mayor Travis Mitchell ensures that the improvements will only be in effort to polish what is already in place. 

“I certainly don’t think it’s the council’s intent, certainly not my intent, to say that the downtown area is languishing from the standpoint of walkability,” Mitchell said. “Our square is beautiful as is. This project that we have been undertaking now for several months is designed to amplify and build upon the historic nature of the square and the beauty within.”

The city of Kyle, along with Coleman and Associates, will need to work with the Texas Historical Commission for design review and negotiate any possible changes to comply with the preservation of historical items. 

About Author

Megan Navarro (formerly Wehring) graduated from Texas State University in May 2020 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. In June 2020, she started a summer internship at the Hays Free Press/News-Dispatch through the Dow Jones News Fund and Texas Press Association. She then earned her way to a reporter position later that summer and now, she serves as the editor of the newspaper. Working for a small publication, Navarro wears multiple hats. She has various responsibilities including managing a team of reporters, making editorial decisions, overseeing social media posts, fact checking, writing her own articles and more. Navarro has a heart for storytelling and she believes that journalists are equipped to share the stories that are important to the community.

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