May 20, 2024


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Riverfront, Baylor basketball arena get Plan Commission green light | Local Govt. and Politics

Preparing and zoning amendments for Baylor University’s new basketball arena and two acres of public-non-public riverfront growth are headed to the Waco City Council immediately after winning approval Tuesday from the Approach Commission.

The unanimous acceptance is another inexperienced gentle for the the $213 million basketball arena in close proximity to College Parks Travel, and for the adjacent progress planned by the city of Waco and Catalyst City Improvement. The Program Fee recommendations will go to the council Aug. 2 for approval.

The arena web site, which also involves a city-sponsored hotel and parking garage growth off of Clay Avenue, is established to be rezoned from C-2, or community business, to O-2, or office environment-household.

New Riverfront rendering 26

A rendering reveals a mixed-use creating throughout Clay Avenue from the new Baylor basketball arena.

The commission also permitted an expanded and revised notion strategy for the Brazos Riverfront project that the city and Catalyst are presently building amongst Clay and Jackson Avenues.

Catalyst is constructing multistory housing, retail and structured parking all around College Parks and Webster Avenue and preserving an oak grove for a farmers market and park.

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Those plans have expanded by two acres, extending toward Clay Avenue to complement the new basketball arena.

Waco planning companies manager Beatriz Wharton informed the commission that the expanded growth will involve an added parking garage, multifamily, stores and eating places, such as two destination eating places instantly on the Brazos River.

The close of Clay Avenue will be rerouted close to the farmers market place plaza to link with Webster Avenue.

Riverfront map - new

A new site map for the Riverfront improvement demonstrates buildings along Clay Avenue and streets all over the farmers sector plaza.

Paris Rutherford, co-founder of Catalyst, mentioned the modifications are intended to develop a much more simplified community in the Riverfront challenge and tie it to the arena website.

“We expanded the strategy strategy for the zoning,” Rutherford said. “It allows tie all the blocks collectively and performing in live performance with what’s happening throughout the street with what the city and Baylor are accomplishing.”

The growth together Waco’s riverfront has been in the performs because 2018 as aspect of the city’s endeavours to revitalize downtown Waco. The scope of the task grew very last yr as town and Baylor College officers negotiated a program to establish the new basketball arena downtown relatively than upcoming to the Ferrell Heart, as had been initially proposed.

The mixed riverfront developments have been authorised for $73 million in downtown Tax Increment Financing Zone funding, which includes $34 million for the 7,500-seat arena itself.

The TIF funding will also protect structured parking, road and sidewalk improvements and a rebuilt riverwalk. The TIF Zone works by using a portion of house taxes collected in the zone to fund downtown advancements.

Design is now underway on the arena, which is expected to open for games in January 2024. Development on the two riverfront restaurants is anticipated to begin in July 2023 and finish in 2025, with construction on other developments anticipated to get started in 2025 and stretch as much as 2028.


Design crews work to end the outflow of a giant drainage tunnel that has been set up down the middle of Webster Avenue as element of Catalyst Urban Development’s Riverfront task. The job scope has now been expanded to enhance Baylor’s adjacent prepared basketball arena.