The Great Streets Development Program provides a mechanism to improve the quality of downtown streets and sidewalks, aiming ultimately to transform the public right-of-ways into great public spaces. It provides financial assistance to private developers with the cost of implementing streetscape standards that go above and beyond the City’s minimum requirements. The program allows the City to leverage needed above and below ground streetscape improvements from private developments by sharing the cost of implementing Great Streets enhancements. The program establishes criteria for the City’s financial participation in a project based on the following reimbursement criteria:
- Location of the project and its impact on pedestrian activity;
- Location along a Capital Metro transit route;
- Implementation of underground utility improvements;
- Implementation of streetscape improvements;
- Introduction of active uses such as sidewalk cafes;
- Incorporation of place-making/public art/special features.
The current Great Streets Development Program boundaries are 11th Street on the north, Cesar Chavez Street on the south, IH-35 on the east, and Lamar Blvd. on the west. The typical Great Streets layout includes the following streetscape elements: sidewalks 18 or 32 feet in width; street furnishings that include benches, bike racks and trash receptacles; and street trees that are spaced so that there is a contiguous canopy at maturity to provide shade. See Great Street Standards.
The Great Streets Parking Meter fund sets aside 30% of the parking revenues collected in downtown within the program’s boundaries to provide assistance to the development community to implement the Great Streets standards. The fund generates approximately $400,000 per year.
- Applicant meets with Urban Design(UD) staff to review Great Streets standards and proposed streetscape improvements.
- Applicant submits streetscape plans to UD staff and revises as necessary to receive UD and Transportation staff approval of finalized Great Streets Sidewalk Plan.
- Once approved, a reimbursement cap is established.
- Applicant complies with Minority/Women-Owned Business Enterprise Process.
- City drafts Community Facilities Contract (CFC).
- Administrative approval of award if <$46,000; Council approval required if >$46,000.
- Applicant and City execute CFC.
- Applicant constructs streetscape improvements.
- Applicant submits required documentation for reimbursement as specified in CFC.
- Inspection and acceptance of Great Streets improvements by the City.
- Reimbursement funds released by City.
Three levels of Great Streets Program reimbursement are available, based on the project's priority according to the criteria above, with the highest level being capped at the value of $18 per square foot of the sidewalk area proposed for Great Streets-type sidewalk improvements:
- HIGH priority: Cap - $18/SF
- MEDIUM priority: Cap - $14/SF
- LOW priority: Cap - $10/SF
For additional information about the Great Streets Development Program, email Jorge E. Rousselin or call (512) 974-2975.