Killeen, Tx (FOX 44) – The City of Killeen’s Development Services’ Division of the Downtown Revitalization program has won the Texas Downtown Achievement award for the Best Economic Game Changer!

The City says this award recognizes a project, program or promotion that had a measurable impact on a downtown or commercial district in a striking and powerful manner. The President’s Award Program has recognized outstanding projects, places and people of Texas downtowns for more than 35 years.

Following the Killeen 2040 Comprehensive Plan, the Downtown Revitalization Program took a downtown that was known for blight and vacancy and turned the area around through building community pride, supporting local businesses and with creative use of American Rescue Plan Act and Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone funding.

The City says that grant and incentive programs allowed for 35 new small and locally-owned businesses to open in downtown, bringing life to once vacant buildings and adding nearly 90 jobs to the local economy.

The Downtown Revitalization Program focused not only on bringing financial investment, but community investment, by leveraging more than 1,000 volunteer hours in the first year.

According to the City, the Downtown Revitalization Program launched five signature events downtown – increasing foot traffic to nearly 1.2 million visitors the first year. This nearly doubled the year before, focusing on creating spaces and events that reflected the local community.