|After 12 years of no action by the City of Laredo, local duo moving fast on their plans!|
It was to be expected. The city spent nearly $400,000 on a PowerPoint about how to "revitalize" downtown and nothing has happened. Meanwhile, two local men have sprung into action all on their own. The only thing the city has done is essentially give the men permission to show all those at the city how its done. Attorney Victor Trevino and Danny Lopez, son of the found of Danny's Restaurants have ambitious plans not only for the old Plaza theater but for finally jump-starting the resurgence of downtown Laredo.
What was also probably expected was that the city, or in this case, Laredo Main Street organization tried to steal the limelight from Trevino and Lopez and their decisiveness. As is evident in the following excerpt from today's Laredo Morning Time's, Laredo Main Street is obviously jealous.
From the Laredo Morning Times
The City of Laredo purchased the building from United Artists in 1999. City Council approved funds in November 2001 to pay for a feasibility study led by Killis Almond & Associates Inc. on converting the facility into a live performing arts venue.
The study concluded that the theater should be converted to a multipurpose venue, in line with Treviño and Lopez’s plans. But rehabilitation plans for the theater went nowhere because the improvements would have cost $6 million, said Ronnie Acosta, director of community development at the city.“In the absence of funding to carry it through, it didn’t happen,” she said.
Acosta said a 2008 grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development paid for façade improvements. The city also improved tiles, doors and lighting. Treviño and Lopez believe they can improve the theater for less money. They will have until the end of August to complete the feasibility study and, once costs are identified, work out a five-year lease plan with the city.
Sandra Rocha Taylor, executive director of Laredo Main Street, said the group was part of a coalition of nonprofits preparing to make its own pitch for downtown development before Treviño and Lopez made their presentation to the council. (As the saying goes - Yeah Right!)