By Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun
A renovated railroad depot, restaurants, shops, galleries and green space is how many see the downtown of the future.
“I can see that people are really interested in the Main Street revitalization,” said Barbara Hicklin, one of the visionaries.
The future snapshot of Tucumcari’s downtown is what a group of 22 people discovered in a “visioning” session on Tuesday night.
The session was conducted by program associates for the state’s MainStreet program of which Tucumcari has been a part since October.
“There was a good cross section of people from the community and from the college,” said David Buchen, executive director of Tucumcari’s MainStreet program.
“It was interesting to see the similarity in the responses,” Buchen said.
Nearly everyone agreed that the focus of the downtown revitalization was the railroad station.
While many understand that the depot is the focal point, “we still need to get the word out and explain what MainStreet is trying to do,” Hicklin said.
The downtown area is considered, in general terms, the area bordered by Jackson, Railroad Avenue, 4th Street and Laughlin.
And Main Street hopes, over a period of years, to build up the area’s retail and become a destination for tourists as well as locals.
Why is downtown important to the community?
The group’s top four reasons were:
l A sense of identity and a point of pride
l It’s the cornerstone of the community
l A center for commercial and cultural activities
Downtown also has some assets, even if some are diamonds in the rough.
The top four are:
l The railroad depot
l The potential for development, ranging from vacant lots to existing buildings
l Historic buildings
After Saturday’s first Six Shooter Siding Festival, Buchen said many people wanted to know when the train terminal would begin renovation. Buchen said the process is expected to start soon.
Downtown’s assets, its importance to the community and 11 other items covered by the group will be presented at noon today to Main Street’s board meeting.
The results are expected to help the Main Street group develop its mission and a plan of action.