Master plan in the works for area around the fairgrounds, Rose Garden and Harvey Convention Center

Staff graphic/Brian Crane.

Tyler is looking at ways to beautify and market the area around the Rose Garden and the East Texas State Fair grounds.

The city's parks department is asking architectural firms to review the entire area and suggest ways for multiple entities to work together to make the space more beautiful and user friendly.

Spaces in the area owned by the city include Harvey Convention Center, the Tyler Rose Garden, Winsor Grove Park and fire administration buildings, as well as land across Front Street that currently is used for overflow parking.

The surrounding area also includes Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium, owned by Tyler ISD; Mike Carter Field, owned by Tyler ISD; and the East Texas State Fair Grounds, owned by the Park of East Texas. The Tyler Civic Theatre also is located in the area.

"All of these groups have different purposes," Tyler Parks and Recreation Director Stephanie Rollings said. "We need to get together and decide on what the future will look like. With buildings - do we keep them? Do we build new ones? What about parking and beautification."

The area is busy with events - from baseball, football and soccer to live theatrical shows, conferences and trade shows.

"We have a lot of events going on," Ms. Rollings said. "We are trying to look at the area comprehensively to grow this area and make it a better attraction and make it more attractive."

Ms. Rollings said the plan for the area would tie into the existing Rose Garden Master Plan, which was completed in 2014.

The proposals from firms are due in early April, after which a committee would score the applications and select a winner.

The proposals will look at: infrastructure needs, potential future land uses, landscape and overall beautification, public streets and access points, signage, parking demand, public-private partnerships, corridor enhancements, pedestrian access, recommendations to upgrade and better use the existing buildings, as well as identifying and overcoming obstacles to current mix of land uses, according to the city.

The firm will draft the master plan and provide goals, objectives and strategies for implementation, as well as provide cost estimates and a detailed drawing.

After the plan is completed, the city and other entities will begin fundraising for the project to move forward.

Twitter: @TMTFaith


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Faith Harper is an East Texas native working for her hometown newspaper. She specializes in digital content for the Tyler Morning Telegraph. In her spare time, she loves tacos, road trips and is currently learning to sail.