If you’ve been in downtown Georgetown recently, you’ve probably seen a number of construction sites near the Square. Several new development or redevelopment projects are currently underway and more are in the planning stages. These projects represent both public and private investment in our downtown—an entertainment and cultural district as well as an economic engine for the community.
Georgetown City Center
Georgetown City Center, formerly known as Downtown West, will open in late January. City Center is a collection of City government offices located at Martin Luther King Jr. and Ninth streets. The municipal campus includes new construction for City Hall and Council and Court buildings as well as the current Light and Waterworks building and the Georgetown Public Library. City Center will centralize several offices that are currently scattered throughout the city. In addition to providing needed facility space, the new campus enables easier collaboration for City employees and convenience for residents using City services.
To help provide more parking for City Center, the public parking lot at MLK and Eighth streets will be expanded. Vacant buildings on Seventh and Eighth streets will be removed to allow for 66 additional spaces across from the Georgetown Public Library. The expanded lot will have 204 spaces. The parking lot also will include a new turn-in and bus stop area for GoGeo and CARTS buses.
Restaurants and distillery in City buildings
Georgetown City Council approved the real estate contract for the sale of two downtown buildings in October. The proposal for the historic Post Office at 113 E. Eighth St. is from City Post Partnership for a ballroom, restaurant, and bar. The proposal for the Municipal Court and Council Chambers at 101 E. Seventh St. is from Loyal Spirits Distilling Company and URBAN Eat. Drink for a restaurant and micro-distillery. The City hopes to close on the properties in early-2019 in advance of moving into the City Center facilities. The proceeds from the building sales help offset the costs of construction for City Center.
New buildings in downtown
A number of new commercial projects are currently under construction or are set to start in 2019.
The Watkins building, a two-story 9,600-square-foot building at 815 S. Main St., will house Watkins Insurance Group offices on the second floor and another tenant on the first floor. The new building next to the Grace Heritage Center is expected to open next year.
A groundbreaking on Nov. 13 marked the start of construction on the Palace Theater Smith Performance Center, a three-story building on Rock and Second streets. The new educational center will include a 200-seat theater, classrooms, a dance studio, and offices.
Plans for Riverplace Georgetown, a three-story mixed-use building, were approved by the Historic and Architectural Review Commission in September. The project at Austin Avenue and Second Street will include commercial space and covered parking on the first floor, office space on the second floor, and residential units on the third floor.
In addition, plans are underway for a new two-story mixed-used building at the corner of Eighth and Church streets. Finally, a new CVS store will open in 2019 at the corner of University and Austin avenues.
While 2018 has seen a significant number of new developments, we will continue in 2019 to maintain Georgetown’s unique character, maximize opportunities for thoughtful development, and enhance the quality of life for our residents.
These investments by the community complement the significant preservation and development efforts of the past and those that are planned for the future, ensuring we remain the Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas.