TYLER, Texas — It's been a busy year in North Tyler as the city worked to attract people to the area in different ways.
Dustin Wilson, Tyler's community development block grant manager, said one of the biggest projects people might have noticed is the low income housing development.
"A new Hidden Palace subdivision that we're very excited about at the intersection of Queen and Palace," said Wilson. "The road is up there, the water lines are up there."
Land behind Fire Station 4 has been cleared out for 11 plots. Wilson said the next phase will begin in 2021 for the Hidden Palace homes, which will be 2 to 3 bedrooms depending on who's selected to build them.
"We're opening all the bids in early February and the plan is to just hit the ground running as soon as we can analyze," he explained. "I want to select the winning bidder and bring it to council and get all the paperwork and documentation that we need."
Wilson is unsure how long it will take for the low income housing to be completed after construction has begun. But the city is offering an incentive program for homeowners in need of repair nearby it.
"We're calling it a targeted home repair program," said Wilson. "It is focused in that area around the Hidden Palace subdivision. So homes in that area can can apply for assistance to get their homes updated a little bit."
The targeted home repair program is a partnership between Tyler and Habitat for Humanity of Smith County. The city is also working with the nonprofit for critical home repairs to elderly community members homes.
A change was made this year, to an already established incentive the city put into place to attract home owners to North Tyler. The minimum home size was reduced from 1,600 to 1,300 square feet for the North End Residential Building Incentive Program. The city hopes to add more homes in the next couple of years to reach a goal of 3,000 new rooftops for the north community.
Another noticeable project that was completed in 2020, was the upgrades at Emmett J. Scott Park. The community park was completely redone over the summer and features a new playground, basketball court, bathrooms and more.
Wilson said the city also plans to finalize the T.J. Austin Sidewalk Project and connect it at Gentry Parkway. In September, the city hired an attorney for condemnation and eminent domain procedures after running into trouble with undeveloped property across from the school, which is needed for the project.
"We are working to acquire an easement on those lots to build the sidewalks," Wilson said.
As for a crosswalk at the MLK Blvd. and Broadway intersection, Wilson said the city has heard from the community and are exploring options to potentially have one installed.