For the last couple of years, city leaders and officials have been working to revitalize Downtown Grand Prairie while keeping its historical character.
Now that the 161-corridor is flourishing, the city is looking north to help bring traffic from I-30 into downtown and the Entertainment District. Situated between Belt Line Road and SH 161, and just south of I-30 and the Entertainment District, Downtown Grand Prairie has potential to be a bustling place.
Currently, art projects, streetscaping, pop-up parks and infrastructure improvements are being made to help update the downtown area. But that’s not all the city has planned.
Take Back Main Street
The goal is to take back Main Street from TxDOT’s authority so that the city can ease traffic in the area to allow more pedestrian and bike-friendly roads. Currently, Main Street is a two-way street with four lanes. The city hopes to narrow the road to two lanes with additional parking spaces and more landscaping.
Additional green-space is also part of the vision. The city is proposing creating a modern civic plaza with the redevelopment and expansion of City Hall. This new civic plaza will be centrally located and designed to accommodate a wide range of activation and event programming. In addition, this plaza could anchor new restaurants along Main Street and add to the vibrancy of downtown by hosting active patios and creating great hangout places. The civic plaza would also be an amenity to attract future infill housing. Lastly, the civic plaza could serve as an additional trailhead to the existing regional trail system.
While new “instagramable” walls have been painted, the city is working to integrate more public art in the design of streetscapes and public spaces.
Restaurants and Retail
FireHouse Gastro Park, a California-inspired eatery, has taken a historic fire station and turned in into a restaurant, coffee lounge and outdoor hangout space. The restaurant opened in May 2019 and is attracting many visitors into the downtown area.
The city also hopes to see a “Restaurant Row” that would serve as a gateway into the core of downtown. While several restaurants currently call Downtown Grand Prairie home, the city hopes that the revitalization efforts will encourage more destination restaurants to come into the area.
The city is encouraging patio eating, boutiques, coffee shops, bakeries, and chocolate/candy stores, all while restoring historical buildings to be used as restaurant and retail locations.
Pop-Up Events and Parks
Currently, the Downtown Task Force has been working to activate different areas of downtown by hosting pop-up events and parks. The events have included a Murals and Mimosa walk, a Christmas market, and two pop-up parks during Main Street Fest. The task force hopes to bring awareness to new things downtown by bringing more people into downtown to shop, play and eat.
The city’s full vision will take time to complete, but the process has already begun. Programs to help building owners revitalize their building is already helping history meet the 21st Century and restaurants can also apply for economic incentives. The downtown’s social media game has been ramping up, and visitors and citizens alike are taking notice. Just look up #DowntownGPTX!
Downtown Grand Prairie is definitely a place you’ll want to visit, especially as it begins to grow.