When we first launched this map nearly one year ago, a wave of exciting new residential projects had just been announced. There was the enormous, ambitious plan for high-end apartments on the barren former King Chevrolet lot. An upstart, little-known company called Invest in Tyler had bought up major downtown properties and was promising to give them new life. Spring Avenue, east of the courthouse, was due to get new lofts in the old New York Store. The once-glamorous Carlton Hotel was apparently being rescued by a Dallas-based developer, who planned to put in yet more lofts.
Eleven months later, Invest in Tyler has put several downtown properties up for sale—one building is gutted and exposed to the elements, to the alarm of local architects—and says it’s focusing elsewhere. The old King Chevrolet lot remains empty; its developer plans to make progress on a new midtown apartment complex first, and then break ground downtown. The Dallas developer who bought The Carlton missed construction deadlines, and the city hopes a new buyer will emerge.
While residential living hasn’t expanded downtown over the past year, surprising new commercial projects have emerged, most notably the renovation of the iconic Plaza Tower, which will include a new True Vine taproom. Mayor Heines’s real estate company is creating an assortment of new retail opportunities in the old Barham’s Antiques building. The promise of free parking in the Fair Plaza garage appears to have paid off, if the The Foundry’s decision to repurpose its parking lot and install a large patio is any indication. And a big, bold proposal for a totally redefined downtown Tyler has earned fans across Tyler and beyond over the past year—read our interview with the architects behind “the Fitzpatrick plan.”
Will all this activity going on, it can be hard to keep track. The Tyler Loop has put together this guide to major downtown developments since the start of 2016, and we’ll continue updating over time. Click a location to read about it, or just scroll down.
First published July 5, 2018, with additional reporting by Erin Hancock.
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