Talkin with TK (Director of the Economic Development Corporation)
Cannon: It’s been a little while since the plan to turn the lot on the corner of Navasota and Ellis into a Parkette was announced, along with sketches and plans for how the space will be utilized. Can you give us any kind of update on the Parkette?
Presley: The Parkette is going to be amazing, there will definitely be more information coming out on that soon. The last confirmation I got was that things will get kicked off at the beginning of the year, so hopefully that pans out. I would love to see that finished and experience Fourth of July 2018 with people taking advantage of that facility. It's going to be great for the community, I’m really excited about it. The businesses are really looking forward to it, which personally makes me excited. The more I chat with them, they’re beginning to see the potential of having a tourist draw but also a spot where citizens can go and hang out and have a little bit more of a community feel, and I think it's finally clicking that it's going to be something marketable and it's a way to spur downtown revitalization to really kick up some excitement downtown.
Cannon: Besides the Parkette, which is a big ticket item y’all want to see through to completion, what does the EDC have planned going into the New Year?
Presley Economic development has so many different variables and things that affect it that your strategy is never a long term strategy. You have to revisit plans often, just depending on what’s going on locally, what your resources are, what is going on around us. So many things affect it, but in terms of walking into next year, you’re right the Parkette is going to be a pretty big focus, because downtown revitalization is going to be a really big focus. Beyond that, you will see a lot of heavy focus on the industrial park and marketing that properly, getting word out on that. We always have opportunities to invest in local businesses so we look forward to getting the word out on that a little bit more. I would love to see some more participation in that.
Cannon: The “Thursday Nights Before Christmas” is a shop local initiative y’all have been pushing the past month, do you think it is effective?
Presley: When it comes to awareness, Groesbeck absolutely requires persistence. I’ve learned that the hard way and seen it confirmed many times. I was chatting with a local business owner here in the last week, and she was surprised at the amount of marketing that's required and the amount of people who still come into the storefront and go ‘I had no clue this was here!’ I hear this from businesses several months out, I hear this from businesses that are a few years into the game. I think that because things don’t change too often or haven’t changed too often in the past, people sort of get used to the way that they are so when something doesn’t change they don’t necessarily notice it. They’ve done that particular event or some version of the “Thursdays Before Christmas” for a few years, but it takes that measure of persistence. At some point it becomes a calculation of effort versus return. I would love to see a time where we get more community participation.
To read more of this story, pick up a copy of Thursday's edition of The Groesbeck Journal! You can also subscribe online or call 254-729-5103.