Mansfield has a vision for the next mixed-use project in downtown and will ask developers to submit their ideas.
The city owns four acres on Smith Street north of Elm Street that’s prime land for potential development. On Monday, the City Council directed staff to advertise requests for proposals for the project.
The RFPs are expected to go out in May and will be due by late July. The council could get its first look at the proposals in August.
The city envisions a mixed-use project with parking and a pedestrian plaza that connects to the Pond Branch Linear Trail. It will need to have the same architectural style as existing buildings in downtown.
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Councilman Cory Hoffman, who is on the subcommittee overseeing downtown development, said the city has taken great measures to make sure the right project gets built on that site.
“We’re certainly excited to see what developers come up with for that development,” Hoffman said. “There’s a lot of exciting things going on in downtown Mansfield.”
Pond Branch Trail starts
Dirt will start moving this week for phase 1 of the Pond Branch Linear Creek Trail in downtown Mansfield.
The City Council had a ceremonial groundbreaking for the $2.2 million project prior to Monday’s meeting.
The contractor, Klutz Construction, will mobilize this week for the .3-mile trail that goes from Kimball Street, under East Broad Street and ends at Sycamore Street. There will be a connection to Smith Street so it connects seamlessly into downtown.
Matt Young, director of parks and recreation, said construction will be going “fast and furious” with plans to complete the trail by January.
The entire trail will be lighted with ornamental light poles. The 10-foot-wide trail will also have planters, trees, monuments and other landscaping.
Phase two of the project, which continues the trail north to Katherine Rose Memorial Park, has been delayed while Mansfield negotiates with the Union Pacific Railroad. The city needs permission to build the trail through a culvert under the railroad tracks, Young said.
Mansfield expects to find out this week whether it will be feasible and how much it will cost. If the city can proceed, construction would start on phase two immediately after phase one is complete, Young said.