Sneak Peek: Huge Ennis Projects are Underway!

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Big revitalization plans have been underway for several years in Ennis, TX. But just last week, the City Commission approved a 5-year community improvement plan. And it’s pretty impressive. The recent 5-year timeline and official release have outlined the most prominent and active building projects to redefine Ennis even further:
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Minnie McDowal Park

Rendering courtesy of City of Ennis.

  • Performance gazebo, climbing sculptures, Wi-Fi, art-wall, water feature, seating and public restrooms
  • Will be activated several nights a week with live music, open mic nights, movies etc.
  • Location of the Plaza Theatre owned by Lee Roy Mitchell who went on to start Cinemark
  • The park is named after the theatre’s longest standing and most beloved employee, Minnie McDowal
  • Grand opening ceremony Saturday, September 16th.

Welcome Center

Rendering courtesy of City of Ennis.

  • One and a half story Welcome Center in the heart of downtown
  • Will house the welcome center, EcDev team, City Inspection Team, Chamber of Commerce, event space with rooftop patio, 4 retail incubators and restaurant
  • Currently working with Architexas on floor plan

Fire Station 3

Rendering courtesy of City of Ennis.

  • New Fire Station to house the additional firefighters acquired through the SAFER grant
  • Will reduce response time to northern and westward areas of our city
  • Will enhance ISO/PPC ratings (lower ISO rating for the City typically yields lower insurance premiums
  • Fire Station 1 will be a separate project to be completed in 2021

North Plaza

Rendering courtesy of City of Ennis.

  • Provides public gathering space with amphitheater and water feature
  • Home to the new City Hall, Municipal Court and Police Station
  • In final discussions with private investor

Downtown Infrastructure/Dallas St.

Rendering courtesy of City of Ennis.

  • Replacement of 100-year-old water and sewer and installing grease traps to create the foundation to support the new retail/residential growth and development
  • Dallas St. will be converted into a scenic boulevard which connects the two sides of downtown
  • Tree-lined, beautiful red brickwork, flower planters, widened sidewalks
  • Additional infrastructure projects include street improvements, wastewater treatment improvements and more

South Plaza

Rendering courtesy of City of Ennis.

  • Provides public gathering space with large gazebo
  • Residential on the second story and retail/dining on ground level

Splash Pads

Image courtesy of City of Ennis.

  • Splash pads and associated features at Jaycee and Lions Park
  • 6 additional park projects include equipment replacement, bathroom facilities, ballpark improvements and more

Downtown Underpass

Rendering courtesy of City of Ennis.

  • Aesthetically-pleasing trestle bridge on Ennis Avenue that will allow the train to pass overhead, relieving road congestion and also creating a landmark in Ennis
  • Connects IH45 Market to Downtown Market
  • Currently in engineering

Replacement Airport

Image courtesy of City of Ennis.

  • New airport to replace existing 1964 airport
  • Will yield new opportunities and can also generate revenue from a variety of sources (e.g hanger leases, fuel sales and events).

Other Projects and Programs

  • Rebranding
    • Working with Chandler Thinks, a very reputable destination branding agency out of Tennessee, to rebrand the city
    • Conducting focus groups, 30 key stakeholder interviews and full tour of Ennis
    • Brand story, logo, tagline, brand guidelines and brand launch video
    • The new brand reveal will help us attract visitors, investors, new residents and will give current residents a proud story to stand behind/promote
  • Residential
    • Two full market rate AA & AAA quality apartments are in progress
    • Single family residential permits have tripled over the last few years
  • Retail
    • Starbucks and Chipotle recently completed
    • Arby’s, Popeyes, Steak and Shake and other confidential retailer coming in 2017-18
  • Grant Program
    • Very successful Historic Preservation Grant and Façade Grant program implemented downtown
    • Investment is $2.2MM public and over $10MM private