By: Keisha Roland
Picture this: the southern edge of Longview near Interstate 20 being revitalization to a welcoming environment attracting people to call Longview home. Soon, you will not have to imagine this because South Longview’s redevelopment has begun. This revitalization can be achieved in the next fifteen to twenty years according to Longview’s Comprehensive Plan.
The Longview Comprehensive plan is a document that will help shape our community on issues ranging from parks to redevelopment and total growth. An important part of the Plan is to bring the community together and create a vision for the future.
Small business owner Lloyd Coyle of Coyle’s Pest Control is thrilled Southside Longview redevelopment is underway. “I think it is great that there is a plan for rebuilding our neighborhoods up, he said. “The Southside is the corridor for our City and people need to take a little more pride in our neighborhood. Hopefully, with redevelopment happening this will add growth for our city and my business as well.”
The plan suggests revival of neighborhoods through beautification of entryways, retail revitalization, and redevelopment of the area around LeTourneau University. Co-Director Janice Bunt of Caring & Sharing located at 2307 Mobberly Avenue agreed with the redevelopment of the area around the University. “When we were looking for places to build our new center there was an old tore down building where we are now, she said. “It was embarrassing to see this area looking dead, especially with LeTourneau University across the street. So, we decided to buy and build a building with the purpose to help people in need to have dignity.” Bunt further explained how happy she was that the new Dollar Store bought the lot next door enhancing the beauty of that area. “It really made me happy to see the new Dollar Store next to us, she said. “It looks better for Longview.” Councilman Wray Wade, District 3, also agrees that any development in South Longview is a plus. “For District 3 any development of abandon lots or buildings is a major plus for our city,” said Wade. “We are grateful for businesses like Caring &Sharing and the Dollar General for redeveloping the area they are located. It’s always been my objective to redevelop District 3 like other parts of Longview.”
Mayor Andy Mack is also enthused about the redevelopment in this area. “We’re excited to see new growth and development in District 3, Mack said. “We’re working hard to make all of Longview a business-friendly environment and it is exciting to see this effort paying off. I am thankful for any business that choose to work in Longview.”
Not only are there businesses and non-profits being redeveloped in South Longview, but homes are going up as well. Builders are taking an interest in redeveloping the southside. So far, homes have been built on Whitney Street, Martin Luther King, Jr Boulevard, Chappel Street, Butler Street, Ridgelea and Green Street. A long-term Southside resident Mary Willison is impressed with how her neighborhood is turning around. “I’ve been in Longview more than 35 years, said Willison. “To see the city, workers and community come together and clean this place up makes my heart smile. When I am out driving up and down the streets I notice the new homes, department stores and street clean-ups. Longview is taking pride in our City.”
Willison is not the only resident taking notice in the changes. Tara Allen, a southside resident, is also happy about the redevelopment happening in South Longview. “This is just a blessing. South Longview is finally getting the attention it deserves,” said Allen. “With all the new redevelopment happening the community will be encouraged to take pride in their neighborhoods and keep their streets clean. This is definitely something South Longview needed.”
The Longview Comprehensive Plan is a long-term planning guide that will serve as a roadmap for the future. It is intended to direct the growth and physical development of the community for years to come. Not only focusing on the physical development of Longview, but also the overall vision for Longview as a livable and economically vibrant community. To learn more about Longview’s Comprehensive plan please visit https://www.longviewtexas.gov/2159/Comprehensive-Plan.