I tell this story often: When I first moved to Waco in 2000, the downtown area between Market River Square 17th Street, with few exceptions, was a boarded up wasteland. But it had imminent potential. It’s been a slow build, but it feels as if that potential is finally being realized. Last holidays, when I was still staying away from people but trying to find ways to feel normal, I would park my truck on Austin Avenue in the evenings and just walk up and down the sidewalk, admiring the Christmas decorations and reminiscing on my years in this city. In the months since, I have spent the vast majority of my time downtown.
I moved into a new role in my organization early this year, which has me in the office more, and in the community less. I’m loving the new responsibility, and also the renewed immersion into downtown. I often walk to Union Hall for lunch and to Dichotomy for coffee. When the weather isn’t blazing hot, I’ll rest my feet at the incredible 7th Street Pedestrian Plaza, which is really something special.
With new apartments and a basketball arena coming soon, the area will see even more growth, and I’m happy to be a part of it.