For years, the City of Irving has been trying to redevelop its downtown area known as the Heritage Crossing District. On Tuesday, an all-day workshop gave residents the opportunity to share their thoughts directly with the city's consultant.
Lorraine Taylor, a board member of the Heritage District Neigborhood Association, has been wanting to see change in her neighborhood for years.
"I'm not opposed to density. I think the greatest density should be up by the TRE station and places that I should walk to from my house," Taylor said.
Ruben Franco, an Irving resident for 50 years, said Gateway Planning Group, the consulting group hired by the City of Irving, has already been working with ideas about reopening Old Central, the city's historic fire station located downtown.
"It makes me feel very important first of all, and makes me feel like somebody cares about what the citizens of Irving are doing and want," Franco said.
Throughout the day residents filtered in and out of City Hall, passing along their thoughts directly to the consultant.
"Most of what we're hearing is that people don't want something completely foreign. There is a really good neighborhood already here, there is a lot of successful businesses already here, and they want us to help build on what's already working," said Scott Polikov, president of Gateway Planning Group.
Kevin Kass, who works for the city's Development Services, said the primary goal for holding an all-day workshop was to give every resident to have a voice.
"It's their opportunity to get one-on-one time, to sit down, real-time as you see them doing here today, with tissue paper and pens drawing and sharing ideas and just laying out, feeling engaged in the process," Kass said.
Polikov said he planned to incorporate the residents' ideas into his presentation which he will bring before the city council at the end of the month.