Downtown Continues Its Makeover

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As Warren County magistrates prepare to enact a new hotel tax, development plans are moving forward in downtown Bowling Green.

A ceremonial groundbreaking of "Circus Square" last week was followed by word that a two-percent hotel tax would fund the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center.

It's been a year of marked change for Bowling Green's downtown.

The most noticeable addition so far has been the long-awaited groundbreaking for Circus Square Park.

"We have the park fully underway right now and hope to have it completed in the summer of 2008," explained Heather Age, acting Downtown Redevelopment director.

One development on the horizon is the Tax Increment Funding district, or "TIF", which is projected to bring mixed-use development, residential housing and a hotel.

"We've received an "OK", a go-ahead from the TIF committee. They have accepted our application and instructed staff to begin working with us to work out the details," Bowling Green Mayor Elaine Walker assured.

Another major project that would hit downtown Bowling Green as part of the TIF district is Minor League baseball.

Mayor Walker said not much is known right now about the team that would be re-locating to town.

"They're being very confidential in terms of the name of the team they'd be bringing to Bowling Green, but it's my understanding the owner, Art Solomon, has an option that he's hoping to exercise October 22nd," Mayer Walker added.

Age says that dormant 601 State Street is being polished up in order to attract a new tenant.

"It's the cornerstone of Circus Square Park and we want to see the mixed use development element go into that property, but something that will compliment the park, that will add to the park," Age said.

Age also added that work has just finished up on the first phase of the Lee Square housing area, with the second phase set to begin in the near future.

To learn more about the current downtown projects and to see a master plan of downtown, click here.

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