TYLER - On Wednesday, the Tyler City Council could take action on a master plan that includes major changes to the Rose Complex.
HALFF Associates will present the Rose Complex Master Plan during Wednesday's regular city council meeting.
Plan development began in September 2016 and includes Harvey Convention Center, Tyler Rose Garden Center, East Texas State Fairgrounds, Tyler ISD's football and baseball facilities, and surrounding areas.
"The idea is to make this facility much more of a complex, hence the name," said Stephanie Franklin, City of Tyler Managing Director. "We added the Rose Complex Master Plan, to make it more of a tourist attraction where these areas work together."
The city hosted public meetings and appointed a steering committee to help develop the plan.
It includes demolishing and re-building Harvey Convention Center, a new park along Front Street, additional parking, and pedestrian walking trails.
Under the proposed plan, the historic Mayfair Building will stay in its location, as will the Rose Garden Center and Tyler Civic Theater.
"Throughout the process there was obviously going to be discussion about where we were going to take different pieces of the facility, and East Texas State Fair uses a large piece of the facility" said Franklin.
Ultimately, stakeholders and consultants determined the East Texas State Fair should be relocated when its lease with the city expires in 2026.
Organizers of the East Texas State Fair declined an on-camera interview Wednesday, but released the following statement to CBS19:
The Rose Complex Master Plan does not include space for the fairgrounds, nor a plan to relocate the fairgrounds. Fair administrators are actively working to develop a plan for the future East Texas State Fair, but at this time there is not one. The fair has a lease on the fairgrounds until year 2026 and until then plans to operate in the same location unless a plan comes forth that can be executed sooner.
-Cody R. Rosenbalm
Director of Marketing," The Park of East Texas, Home of the East Texas State Fair
In January, John Sykes, president & CEO of the East Texas State Fair, told CBS19 the organization faces space and facility limitations in its current location and purchased a larger piece of land 12 years ago in hopes of moving. However, the non-profit has not been able to raise enough money to move to that space located near Highway 64 and Loop 323, he said.
"The city really would like to be a partner at the table to help [the fair] in their relocation process if they don't use the current acreage that they had purchased several years back," said Ferguson.
After Wednesday's presentation from HALFF, council could vote on adopting the master plan.
As proposed, the improvements would cost $17.6 million. The master plan includes a section on implementation with possible funding categories.
If the plan passes, the city would address funding mechanisms and implementation in the future.
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