Downtown “Railside” Development Tour Oct. 9th

Published on

With the quickening pace of redevelopment of Grand Island's downtown "Railside," leaders in the district have invited the public to visit several new and completed buildings on a self-guided walking tour on Oct. 9.

"I think a lot of people saw how things have changed along the streets here this summer during the free weekly Friday-night concerts, but I don't think they realize how much has changed inside some of these buildings," said Tom Ziller, Railside Business Improvement District's board president. "This isn't just a place to visit recreationally. People live and work down here too. And this is a chance for people to see that side too."

Several nearing- or recently-completed developments that will be featured on the free tour will include the Prairie Pride brewery, an expanded banquet hall at the Chocolate Bar, staggering contemporary office space renovations at GIX Logistics and Performance Plus, as well as luxury upper level housing at Tower 217, the former Masonic Temple. These locations are among eight stops that will be open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 9 for a public walking tour.

Other stops will include Cannon Moss Brygger Architecture's contemporary office space in the remodeled third floor of the former city hall and a "before" look at the Hedde Building ahead of developer Amos Anson commencement of redevelopment in that building that once housed Wayne's Pawn Shop.

"By now, people have watched films at the renovated Grand Theater, they have had coffee at the Chocolate Bar, they have been out at night at McKinney's or Infuse Mixology and they have shopped at Kindred or one of the other new boutique shops," Ziller said. "But not as many people have seen the other face of redevelopment downtown, where we are seeing more modern professional office space and even contemporary upper level housing. Those kinds of developments are less prominent, but crucial to the continued momentum of a healthy district-wide redevelopment."

Other recent advancements include furthering of Railside's rebranding of the downtown, evident in new welcome and parking signs and street light banners that all use the unified "Railside" brand to help establish a district identity with the public.

The command center for the Oct. 9 tour will be Railside's own renovated office, located at 224 W. 3rd Street, which abuts the newly-rejuvenated Railside Plaza, formerly known as Kaufman Plaza. Renovated with donated services and supplies and financial support from Grand Island agency partners, Railside's office serves as both the staff's office and the welcome center for Railside visitors.

The tour will feature business or development representatives and Railside guides at each location to talk about each redevelopment project, as well as answer questions about the overall Railside district's rejuvenation. Look for balloons marking the tour locations on Oct. 9.

MORE INFO: www.arriverailside.com or contact Railside Coordinator Tonya Huismann at coordinator@arriverailside.com or (308) 398-7022