In January 2009, the City Council adopted a new Comprehensive Plan, which identified six “Enhancement/Redevelopment” zones. The feeling of City officials was that the true redevelopment potential of these areas could not be determined without specific, detailed study. The Main Street area and the Central Expressway Corridor are two of the target redevelopment zones designated in the Comprehensive Plan.
Both reflect many of the challenges facing first-tier suburbs: aging development and infrastructure; properties that are underperforming due to changes in market conditions, technology and building format; and evolving demographics. The Main Street area includes the historical downtown of Richardson. Central Expressway is a freeway-oriented commercial corridor with a variety of uses. In an effort to achieve the City Council’s goal of completing the Main Street and the Central Corridor studies in the most expeditious manner, the two are being combined into a single study area.
Phase 1: Vision Study & Market Analysis
The first phase of the Main Street/Central Expressway Enhancement/Redevelopment Strategy created a strategy for redevelopment and revitalization of Main Street and the Central Expressway Corridor–Richardson’s original downtown and the major access route to the community, its business areas and neighborhoods. the final report and recommendation as the conclusion of the first phase—market analysis and visioning process—in the revitalization effort. Input from a series of community meetings, individual and small group interviews, a focus group workshop and online surveys and questionnaires was incorporated and played an important role in shaping the community’s vision for the future of the Main Street/Central Expressway Corridor.
Phase 2: Central Sub-districts Rezoning Initiative
Building on the Market Analysis and Vision Study accepted by City Council in January 2013 (Phase 1) and the Richardson 2009 Comprehensive Plan recommendations, the second phase of the Main Street/Central Expressway Enhancement/Redevelopment Strategy has been a rezoning initiative to implement the Vision Study recommendations. During 2014, the rezoning initiative focused on four sub-districts centrally located within the Corridor area—Central Place, Main Street, Interurban, and Chinatown. These four sub-districts represent approximately 255 acres (inclusive of street rights-of-way) out of the larger 415-acre Corridor area. The rezoning initiative consisted of creating new comprehensive development regulations for each of the four sub-districts, and the PD Planned Development Main Street/Central Expressway Form Based Code was adopted by City Council in January 2015.
Phase 3: Southern Sub-districts Rezoning Initiative
The next phase of the project (Phase 3) consisted of rezoning four sub-districts located in the southern portion of the Corridor—Gateway Commercial, Railside (formerly known as Trailside), Creative Corporate, and Centennial Green (formerly known as McKamy Spring). Throughout the duration of this project, sub-district boundaries were refined and the sub-district names updated, based upon feedback received from stakeholders, residents, the City Plan Commission, and the City Council (see map below). Complete new land use and development regulations were created for these sub-districts, incorporating the sub-districts into the Main Street/Central Expressway Form Based Code. In addition to creating new regulations for these four southern sub-districts, amendments and refinements to the existing zoning regulations were proposed for the four sub-districts located in the central portion of the corridor—Interurban, Central Place, Chinatown, and Main Street.