Downtown Amarillo Inc.’s future might be getting a bit murky.
Why? Well, that’s what a political organization comprising some young Amarillo residents wants to know.
Amarillo Millennial Movement has posted a video proclaiming the successes that have occurred in downtown Amarillo since the founding of DAI.
The Amarillo City Council is considering some major reconfiguration of downtown’s redevelopment strategy. DAI might not figure nearly as prominently in future economic redevelopment efforts.
The council might move some of the economic redevelopment efforts directly into City Hall, which would reduce significantly DAI’s role in future efforts.
AMM’s video cites a number of successful projects that have begun or been completed while DAI — a non-profit agency — has been on the job.
The Fisk Building revival? New lofts along 10th Avenue? Park development near the Potter County Courthouse? New commercial development? Street improvements? Ground being broken for the new Embassy Suites Hotel and for the new parking garage?
AMM wants DAI to stay on the job and is using social media to lobby the City Council to keep the agency as a viable economic development tool.
I happen to agree with AMM’s request.
I am acutely aware of the criticism that DAI has drawn from some quarters here and there in the city. But as I look at how downtown has progressed over the past few years, I keep wondering: Precisely why is this agency being singled out?
City Councilman Brian Eades remains a strong proponent for DAI. He said the other day that DAI “has been more responsible for the success we’ve had than any other entity.” He added that DAI comprises “experts at this and they’ve done a good job.”
So, why the rush to change what appears to be a successful formula for guiding the city toward a brighter future?