Temple: City leaders pass plan for redevelopment of downtown buildings

TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) It has been months in the making, now downtown Temple is set to receive a makeover to bring modern amenities to the area.

At a city council meeting Thursday, members approved a $6 million economic development agreement between the city, Temple Historic Arcadia Theatre, Inc., and Turner Behringer Development Company for the redevelopment of the Hawn Hotel, Arcadia Theater, and the Sears building properties.

The new plan comes after a failed agreement with a previous developer last year. Those plans were scrapped after the developer failed to meet timelines in the agreement, officials said.

With the economic development, new modern-day shopping, entertainment and food options will have a home in downtown Temple.

"Residents of Temple will be able to see these buildings back to life. They will be able to go to a performing arts at the Arcadia again, they’ll be able to eat at a restaurant at the Hawn," said city manager Brynn Myers. "There will be life and residential units downtown.”

The Hawn Hotel has stood empty since the 70s.

“More so than ever before, a community's development and economic activity are dependent on the vibrancy of its downtown and how it shapes the culture and character of the city. The Hawn and Arcadia redevelopment, centered as it is in the heart of downtown, should be a cultural landmark, and this project represents a notable step in creating space for people to come downtown and enjoy what the city has to offer”, Shane Turner said in a press release.

City council also approved a tax abatement agreement for the Hawn and Arcadia properties that will phase in the property tax revenue associated with the redevelopment over a 10-year period.

Construction of the project is slated for 2019 with completion in three years. Phase Two of the project, which involves the Sears building, will start after.