ATHENS–Finalists for the 2018 President’s Awards Program were recently announced in Austin. For over 30 years the awards program, sponsored by the Texas Downtown Association (TDA), has recognized outstanding projects, places and people of Texas downtowns.
With the completion of The Texan: A Landmark Venue in May of this year, the recent downtown development was eligible to apply for this year’s President’s Award program and was selected as a finalist in the category of "Best Renovation/Rehabilitation/Restoration" for it’s impact to downtown revitalization and development efforts for the City of Athens.
TDA was established in 1985 to connect and serve communities that are committed to downtown vitality. The organization is an independent, statewide nonprofit that represents cities and towns of all sizes, economic development corporations, chambers of commerce, local organizations, small businesses, and individuals.
"Having the Texan chosen as a finalist in such a competitive category is a win in itself. That now beautiful venue was once a three-sided shell full of broken bottles and stubborn weeds," said Athens City Councilwoman Toni Garrard Clay. "It has been the intent of city leadership all along that our downtown area continue to climb from the lackluster state it was in only a few years ago to a center filled with compelling retail, entertainment and culinary destinations. The Texan is an important leap toward that goal."
One hundred and eleven entries were submitted in 11 different categories from communities across the state. Judges reviewed entries online and then met in person to make their final selection of award finalists and winners.The panel included Britin Bostickof Stewardship Strategies, Ken Johnson of Michael Hsu Office of Architecture, Julie Kunkle of Austin Monthly, Lisa O’Neill of Breakaway Public Relations and David Teelfrom the Texas Tourism Industry Association.
Winners will be announced on November 7 at the Awards Gala held in conjunction with the 2018 Texas Downtown Conference in Corpus Christi. For more information about the President’s Awards or other programs of the Texas Downtown Association, visit www.texasdowntown.org. Applications for the 2019 awards program will open in the spring.