Commentary: Downtown Hays strong and getting stronger
Updated: Jun 4, 2019
By SARA BLOOM
Downtown Hays Development Corp.
Downtown Hays has come so far in just 15 short years. What was once considered a blight on our community is now a truly unique and sought after destination. While we have come so far, I never want to stop moving forward.
Moving forward is why Downtown Hays Development Corporation (DHDC) works so hard for the development of Downtown. Weekly, I am finding opportunities to meet with potential new businesses. DHDC works hard to be the welcoming committee for new businesses with support, advice, marketing tools and more. We even throw them a party with refreshments and a brick commemorating the fact they have joined us on The Bricks. You may remember me writing about our Business on the Brick receptions not so long ago.
Development is an important part of our organization’s name because we never want to see Downtown Hays stop improving. Part of our mission is to “work to prevent the deterioration and enhance the viability of the community’s cultural centers, historical landmarks and public infrastructure important to the economic and cultural well-being of Hays.”
With all that being said, DHDC is excited to announce that we will be privately funding the building of a 40’x80’ pavilion, a gathering space, at 10th and Main in Downtown Hays. And not just a pavilion, but public restrooms as well, something the community has requested for a long time. All privately funded by DHDC and its many, community partners including the Dane G. Hansen Foundation.
The project has been talked about for a long time, even before I took on this job in February 2015. It’s changed and evolved a lot. DHDC formed a partnership with the Fort Hays State University Department of Applied Technology in the fall of 2016. A design class led by Kris Munsch took on redesigning the structure we envisioned for Downtown. They surveyed the site, met with City of Hays employees, received quotes from multiple contractors and more. They then presented a complete plan for the design and layout of the site including landscaping. Our combined vision gets to become a reality.
Working together with the City of Hays, Commercial Builders, and FHSU, the pavilion will begin construction this summer with a projected completion date of December 2017.
The pavilion is just the start though. After its completion, DHDC will continue to pursue development opportunities in Downtown Hays, encourage travel to our city via promotion of all our activities and lead continue development conversations. I’d like to give you the opportunity to dream and develop alongside us.
Downtown Hays is so much more than just Main Street as you can see in the map. What additions would you like to see in this area? New businesses? More outdoor seating? More residential options? We hope you’ll dream big with us! Please send your ideas to email@example.com.