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Tyler architect maps out new vision for downtown

TYLER, Texas (KETK) - Steve Fitzpatrick looks at downtown Tyler and sees promise.

"Words are hard to describe to people, they can't see what things might look like, but we thought, we can take what we're able to do and we could create a vision for what downtown could be," said Steve Fitzpatrick, a Tyler architect.

So his architecture firm, Fitzpatrick Architects, took it upon themselves to map out a new downtown. And then, they took it to City Council, hoping they would vote yes to applying for a five-million dollar federal grant to get the concept off the ground.

"I'm an advocate of downtown and I think any vibrant city starts with downtown," said Don Warren, Tyler City Councilman. "If you don't have a vibrant downtown, what have you got?"

City council decided to move forward with the plan by turning in the grant application. If awarded the federal money, the City of Tyler would have to throw in one-million dollars to fully fund the deal.

If the project gets going, downtown Tyler as we know it, will look quite a bit different in just a few years.

The four-lane street would be cut down to two with a median, widening sidewalks, and adding bike lanes.

"You'd have drive-ability, walk-ability, bicycling, so it just changes the whole demographic of downtown," said Warren.

Something Fitzpatrick thinks will improve Tyler as a whole.

"It's an opportunity to reset that area and encourage growth in that area that will strengthen all the neighborhoods around the downtown and make the city itself stronger," said Fitzpatrick.

Fitzpatrick tells us they will find out in December if the city got the federal grant. He expects if approved, the first phase of the project to take about two years. And he has plans for more upgrades in the future.

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