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City of Temple planning new Art District on north side

The City of Temple is exploring some big changes around the Mayborn Center to bring more conventions and performances to the city.

TEMPLE, Texas — The City of Temple is working on a plan for the newly designated "North Arts District" and that could include big changes for the Mayborn Civic and Convention Center.

The city wanted to do an analysis of the area to find out how they could bring in more conventions and events to the area. Now they are looking at expanding the center with a new ballroom space to make more events possible. 

"With the lack of a ballroom it is difficult to host large events. so that may be something that we are really missing out on," Assistant City Manager Erin Smith said. "We would be able to draw in more conferences and things that speak more to the arts."

And that's just the beginning. The new district plans also include a new Performing Arts Center that would be built just North of the Mayborn Center. That would provide more space for theater productions and musical performances. The City is also considering adding a hotel in the area so conference-goers have a place to stay and an outdoor performance area nearby. 

Put together, Smith said the city hopes to attract larger conferences from as far as Houston and Dallas.

"It has great access off of I-35. It has the ability to provide a regional and also statewide attraction. Also, our thought is it could be a place where a lot of people live and work," Smith said. "Really a community area where people can enjoy the arts and other community activities."

Smith said the improvements near the Mayborn Center are the most immediate goals but the city is also exploring an entirely new commercial area, mixed-use area, and single-family-home residential area North of the Mayborn Center as well. 

While there are plenty of possibilities, Smith said the city would still need to work with a developer and communicate with landowners to find out what is truly possible. 

Much of the land needed for those plans is owned by Frank Mayborn Enterprises but there is also a tract containing the Northside Church of Christ. Smith said the City of Temple has no plans to buy any of that land at this time. 

"This is just showing what the North Arts District could be," Smith said. "There is no plan to go and purchase property."

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