ASH+LIME worked with the Garland Downtown Business Association (GDBA) to develop strategies for their neighborhood. After extensive public outreach, the team produced a Downtown Action Plan recommending forty low-cost strategies to activate the downtown. This action-oriented, stakeholder-focused plan contrasted with the more typical approach of focusing primarily on large, expensive infrastructure investments which often “sit on the shelf” without implementation. To our team’s knowledge, it was the first such plan produced in the United States.
This report created detailed guidelines for implementing the five most highly-recommended strategies, which included leadership coaching, marketing, wayfinding, and cultural events. The team also helped implement several projects before the plan was created. Among the lasting projects was the reconfiguration of a vacant, roofless building shell into a successful event space. The pilot event led directly to the space incubating a successful brewery and barbeque restaurant, thereby playing a central role in transforming the downtown square.
The team, along with Van Meter Williams Pollack and VERDUNITY, later worked with various stakeholders to help re-envision the future of the neighborhood known as Old Embree, immediately east of Downtown Garland. The plan focused on branding, rezoning, complete street reconfigurations, special events, demonstration projects, and industrial “makerspaces”, with a goal to reinvigorate a largely under-invested neighborhood.
Later, ASH+LIME worked with a developer to redesign an underutilized block of Downtown Garland, supporting an enhanced connection to the nearby Main Street square. The design concept is oriented toward adding private and public gathering spaces, reconfiguring parking, adding bulbouts, improving Main Street walkability, and incorporating rain harvesting strategies.
ASH+LIME’s additional work in Downtown Garland has included consultation with a “tiny home” developer and design services with a nearby national historic neighborhood to develop design strategies to enhance its unique character.