Since the establishment of the Downtown Waco Public Improvement District in 1988, more than 80 businesses have opened in the area, and the workforce has more than doubled. The general boundaries of the district encompass about 60 blocks on the west side of the Brazos River and an area on the east side which extends up Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard along the river for the equivalent of eight city blocks and about 10 blocks down Elm Street.
The public improvement district assessment of 10 cents per $100 valuation of property in the district is used only within those boundaries to provide a variety of services that increase the value and appeal of properties. Property owners enjoy enhanced city services such as twice-weekly sweeping of streets and sidewalks and extra trash pick-ups. Programs like private security services and a low-interest loan pool also attract businesses to the district.
In 2016, the Texas Commission on the Arts unanimously voted to designate Waco a State of Texas Cultural District. Waco’s vibrant Downtown Cultural District contains museums, art galleries, public art, performance venues, and restaurants and bars serving locally produced food, wine, beer—even award-winning scotch whiskey.
Downtown and “Ring Neighborhoods” Development. City Center Waco is a non-profit organization that is responsible for the strategic, smart and driving development in the 'city center' of Waco, comprised of downtown and the surrounding neighborhoods.
City Center aims to expound on its role to offer contact information to businesses and individuals who want to join efforts to create and support a city center that all of Waco can be proud of.
Downtown and the Brazos River corridor, the continued implementation of the Imagine Waco for enhanced development in greater downtown Waco, along the Brazos River Corridor and throughout East Waco, including the Elm Avenue District that showcases the area as a destination for business, living, cultural experiences and entertainment, while correspondingly being sensitive and planning accordingly to minimize potential impacts, such as the gentrification of longstanding neighborhoods.