A glimpse of Amarillo’s future?

I acknowledge readily that I don’t get out as much as I should.

Retirement has turned me into a bit of a homebody, except when my wife and I hitch up our RV to the back of our pickup and hit the road for points hither and yon.

Today, we did venture out. We went downtown. We met our son at Amarillo’s Community Market that was up and running in front of the Chamber of Commerce building at 10th Avenue and Polk Street.

I have high hope that today we might have gotten a glimpse of Amarillo’s future. It’s one that bodes well for the city’s health.

They’re going to break ground pretty soon on that ballpark/multipurpose event venue across the street from City Hall. The MPEV will need to get done in a hurry, in time for the 2019 minor-league baseball season. They’ll toss out the first pitch in April 2019 when the city’s new AA baseball team takes the field.

What’s in store for the future of the city? The MPEV won’t just be a ballpark. The “multipurpose” element of the structure tells me they have plans to play host to events such as, oh, the Community Market and other events where folks from Amarillo and points beyond can enjoy themselves.

As we meandered around the downtown area today we noticed lots and lots and lots of construction under way. A bit north on Polk, they’ve gutted an old retail store to make room for new shops. Farther west on 10th we noticed the old Firestone structure has been gutted out, too, in anticipation of more loft dwellings.

Yes, we have that Embassy Suites hotel about to open. The parking garage is all but done.

The hundreds of folks with whom we mingled today ought to be sure to keep coming back downtown once all those projects are completed.

I’ve said before in this blog that downtown Amarillo bears little resemblance to the district my wife and I first saw when we arrived here in early 1995. Indeed, the central district on this day looks a bit more spry than it did just two or three years ago.

The not-so-good news for us is that we likely won’t be Amarillo residents when all this work is done. We plan to relocate downstate. It’s not all bad as far as we’re concerned. That RV we own travels pretty well in this direction and we intend to be frequent visitors to the city we’ve called “home” for the past two-plus decades.

We believe we got a glimpse of what lies ahead for the city’s downtown district — and we are going to look forward to seeing it come to pass.

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