GEORGETOWN, Texas - The Historic County Courthouse in Georgetown has always been the main focal point.
But the small businesses that wrap around the town square, also attract visitors. It’s all part of the downtown master plan according to assistant city manager Laurie Brewer.
"And our downtown has a lot of vitality right now, this is an exciting time for us," said Brewer.
To cash in on that popularity the city is looking to cash out by posting sales notices on three town square properties. The municipal court building where the council meets. The visitors center located on the north side and city hall which was originally the post office on the east side. The "make us an offer" request by the city, Brewer said almost immediately started generating interest from local developers.
"Overall the goal is to increase retail and pedestrian activity to increase the experience you have on the square on Georgetown, we are not only going to look at the price people are offering on the buildings, but also the use," said Brewer.
Complementing what is already on the square is important to retailers like Ken Covington. The music shop owner would like to see a breakfast cafe and a dance hall on the square.
"No offices or lawyers or financial advisors, we don't want that," said Covington.
Historic site designations and height restrictions will limit what can be done to each site. Proposals from potential buyers are due May 1st.
The city employees will certainly lose their front door access to the town square, but their relocation really won’t be that difficult. The place they are moving to is just a few steps away.
The old library, which is currently being gutted, will be the new city hall. A two story building across the street - will become the new municipal court and city council chamber. When completed the new city complex, with a price tag of $13-million, is to be more then functional.
"Everybody is dedicated to preserving the charm and the history that we have but we are also looking to innovate for the future and one of those innovations is to provide more of an experiment for our citizens as well as visitors to our downtown and we think this economic development project will do that," said Brewer.
The new city government complex is not expected to be ready for move in until the end of the year. As a result, the new owners of the buildings on the square will not be able to take immediate possession until the city offices are ready. The city is still looking to find a new location for the visitor’s center.
Open house viewings on all three properties are scheduled for Mar. 1th and the 8th. A virtual walk through is already possible. Images and video from the sites as well as interviews with city employees are available at the following website.