Lufkin Forward Kicks Off Phase 2

January 6, 2022   /   Project News

In January 2020, we were excited to post a “Progress Report” blog on several of our planning projects that had moved forward with implementation. The blog post reflected the reality of planning projects, that “years can pass between the completion of a plan and the changes on the ground.” We’re enthused to see yet another implementation project stem from our planning studio’s work, one of which now involves our landscape architecture studio!

In Lufkin, Texas, community members and the Lufkin Economic Development Council (LEDC) are implementing several recommendations made by Downtown Lufkin Economic Development and Public Realm Vision Plan, called Lufkin Forward, which was unanimously adopted by city council in August 2021 after collaboration with AR, local organizations, stakeholders, and community leaders.

The plan recommended six (6) overarching strategies including:

1. Enhance parks and open spaces as gathering spaces for residents and visitors;

2. Improve how people travel through downtown, both on foot and wheels;

3. Connect people to opportunities and downtown assets through signage and gateways;

4. Ensure downtown has a variety of programming and events that are accessible to households at various income levels;

5. Diversify and strengthen the downtown business community;

6. Create new tools for the City of Lufkin, LEDC, and other partners to enhance and attract development.

In those strategies, four “Big Ideas” were funded by when the plan was adopted. $2.4 Million will fund:

1. Converting First Street into a Festival Street;

2. Designing and updating Historic Cotton Square Park;

3. Improving and enhancing Downtown’s murals; and

4. Improving Bronaugh Park.

In October 2021, the LEDC partnered with engineering firm Pape-Dawson, Asakura Robinson, and UP Art Studio to execute the four “Big Ideas”. The project has officially kicked off and is anticipated to conclude in late 2023. Asakura Robinson’s landscape architecture studio will support a multi-disciplinary project team led by Pape-Dawson Engineering on the reconstruction and revitalization of First Street, Cotton Square Park, and Bronaugh Park, with design beginning in January 2022.

We are excited to see Lufkin’s community partners work together to dramatically transform Lufkin and it’s public realm, into a more livable, resilient, and equitable community.

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