A success story
Temple City Manager Brynn Myers talks about elements that have contributed to today's booming Downtown.
SATURDAY DECEMBER 18, 2021 BONUS ISSUE
Projects such as Santa Fe Plaza and Santa Fe Trail are key parts in the success of Downtown Temple. Investments by local developers and the work of the city’s Main Street project also have been instrumental, City Manager Brynn Myers said Friday.
City manager: Downtown Temple’s success is sum of many parts
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple
According to Temple City Manager Brynn Myers, the recipe to creating a booming Downtown has many key ingredients.
“Several factors have contributed to the growing successes in Downtown,” she said. “The city has been focusing on improvements, and private investors have really got the ball rolling.”
Myers said the city developed a Downtown master plan in 2013 that focused on infrastructure. Those improvements have served as a catalyst for development.
“About that time we started working on the Santa Fe Plaza,” she said “There were some city-owned buildings there that the city wasn’t using, so we took them down. We worked in partnership with the Temple Chamber of Commerce and Temple ISD to get them to locate at the new Plaza.”
Santa Fe Plaza is a $30 million Downtown development anchored by the historic Santa Fe Depot — home to Amtrak and the Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum. The Plaza also includes the Santa Fe Business Center — it houses the Chamber, Temple Economic Development Corporation and Workforce Solutions of Central Texas — and the Temple ISD administration building.
Another big driver for Downtown growth was the creation of Transform Temple, a city department focused on preserving and enhancing neighborhoods, including the business and entertainment district.
“Transform Temple was the idea of Jonathan Graham, the city manager before me,” Myers said. “I was his assistant. Jonathan wanted to improve the little things like cracks in sidewalks and weeds growing Downtown. He wanted to create pride in our city by focusing on the little things.”
Transform Temple started with three people and has grown to include three different work crews and a code compliance crew, she said.
“Transform Temple was created to focus on details, and the department has made a big difference,” she said.
One of the biggest ingredients in Downtown’s success has been the creation and implementation of Temple’s Main Street program.
“In 2016 we started having conversations about being a Main Street city,” she said. “We toured some other cities in the program and it was obvious they were having success.”
“The program opens up resources for local businesses such as design services, and it gives Downtown businesses a voice and an effective way to communicate with the city,” Myers added.
Temple’s Main Street Program is a city program that operates under the rules and guidelines of the statewide and national Main Street networks.
“Temple was accepted into the Texas Main Street program in 2018 and received formal accreditation as a National Main Street city in 2020,” she said.
The Temple Main Street project is run by Dan Kelleher, who serves as a liaison between businesses and the city, Myers said.
“Downtown Dan is a big promoter and has brought a lot of people to downtown Temple,” Myers said.
Events such as First Friday — held the first Friday of each month — uses promotions by local businesses to attract traffic to restaurants, clubs and retail shops.
Myers said another big key to Downtown growth has been private partnerships between developers and the city.
“Turner Behringer is a good example,” she said. “They are bringing life back to the Hawn Hotel, Arcadia Theatre and Sears building through renovation. Another big project is going on across the street at the Professional Building.”
“These renovations are part of the creation of City Centre, which will be similar to the work the city did for the 1st Street project. The city’s role will include putting in what we call sidewalk furniture — benches and landscaping — as well as street improvements. Overhead wiring will be taken underground, and waste-water lines will be improved.”
The 1st Street project was completed recently along with improvements to The Yard food truck court and Santa Fe Trail, which links the depot to the Downtown core.
Myers said projects such as Santa Fe Plaza, 1st Street and now, City Centre, are inspiring other developers to invest in Downtown.
Downtown investors Bo Harvey, Bruce Bates and Jacob Bates have improved and occupied several buildings with Treno’s Pizzeria and Bird Creek Burgers. They are currently building a larger Bird Creek brewery on 4th Street, and plan to establish The Butcher & The Baker grocery market next year in the former In The Mood Ballroom building.
Harvey and the Bates are hardly alone, Myers said. New businesses are opening every month on Downtown streets. City Eats, Cha Community, Community Gardens, FoxDog and Weird Dough’s are all under construction and many other businesses are in the works.
One of those future projects is the conversion of the Bell County Annex into a yet-to-be-determined city property.
“This is still in the early stages, but we’re hoping the county stays Downtown,” Myers said. “When the city takes over the property, we are considering flipping the entrance so the parking lot is across from the Police Station. We could use the current annex parking lot to create Downtown green space.”
The holidays can be difficult for folks with type 2 diabetes, but some Temple-area residents are creating options for coping with parties and gatherings.
Temple diabetics have holiday game plan
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple
Eating healthy during the holiday season can be a challenge for people suffering from type 2 diabetes, but there are options for celebrating with friends and family while keeping blood-sugar numbers in check.
Most diabetics control what they eat during a regular week, but days around Christmas and New Year’s are much more difficult. Parties and well-meaning gifts can wreck nutritional plans.
But, Temple’s Stacy Cobb Triefenbach knows how to enjoy holiday treats without dumping her normal nutritional routine.
“It’s not hard since I’m the cook,” Stacy said this week. “I’m going to try and bake some things with stevia this year. Stores have sugar-free cake and sugar-free icing, so I may incorporate that as well. I’ll eat a lot of veggies, but I might have a bite of some things so I don’t feel deprived.”
According to a joint survey by the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association, more than half of all Americans with type 2 diabetes said managing their condition is more difficult around Christmas than any other time of the year.
In fact, 29 percent of those responding to the survey said staying on track with health goals was their top holiday season concern. Almost 15 percent said finances were their top holiday worry, and 14 percent said safe gatherings because of COVID-19 was their top concern.
Managing diabetes year-round is critical for preventing serious complications like heart disease, stroke and chronic kidney disease, which are leading — and largely preventable — causes of disability and death for people living with diabetes.
“The holidays provide challenges to staying heart healthy for many people, but especially for those managing conditions closely tied to daily nutrition, like type 2 diabetes,” said Dr. Robert Eckel of the American Diabetes Association. “Even if you don’t have diabetes yourself, it’s important to create healthy environments for our friends and family members who do.”
Like Stacy, Lupe Barraza prepares holiday meals and treats that are low sugar and low carb.
“I do most of the cooking for the holiday meals, so I know there will be something good for my family to eat,” Lupe said. “If I go to a party, I take something I know I can eat or I make sure the host knows my situation. If there is nothing diabetic-friendly, I simply say ‘I’m on a diet.’”
Sarah Bryant said her strategy is to eat before she goes to holiday gatherings.
“If I’m full, it lessens my chances of eating things tha tare bad for me,” she said.
Annette L’aortique said she often hosts holiday gathers, but her friends know not to bring sugar-laden desserts.
“I have a rule,” she said. “If it's not supposed to go in my mouth, it's not coming in my house. My will power does not need to be challenged at home.”
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Lock Joint Tube launches $21 million expansion
Our Town Temple
Lock Joint Tube, a mechanical grade steel tubing manufacturer based in Indiana with locations in Ohio, Texas and Tennessee, has announced plans to grow its existing facility in Temple.
Lock Joint Tube, located on Eberhart Road, will expand its footprint by 37,500 square feet pending final negotiations with Temple EDC, the city of Temple and Bell County.
The $21 million investment will create more than 30 new positions, and will give the company the capacity to double output.
“Temple has a business-friendly environment that has enabled Lock Joint Tube to develop a strong foothold in the area with multiple expansions,” said Mark Richner, plant manager. “This project is no different. The Temple Economic Development Corporation was the first entity we reached out to for support thanks to the help they’ve provided in the past.”
Lock Joint Tube produces steel tubing for store fixtures, office and school furniture, and fencing. As a mechanical-grade tubing supplier, the company services fabricators and distributors, as well as original equipment manufacturers with different sized and shaped steel tubing used in such diverse industries as solar, automotive, office furniture, health care, exercise and display fixtures.
“We are proud to support another Lock Joint Tube expansion in Temple,” said Adrian Cannady, president and CEO of Temple Economic Development Corporation. “LJT’s presence and growth has helped to strengthen Temple’s manufacturing industry for decades.”
The company plans for the expanded facility to be operational by January 2023.
Today is finale for 2 CAC exhibits
Our Town Temple
Two popular exhibits end runs today at the Cultural Activities Center in Temple.
One of these departing exhibits features the work of renowned wildlife photographer and Temple resident Earl Nottingham.
“A 1972 Temple High School graduate, Nottingham is considered one of Texas’ best photographers,” said Mary Black Pearson, the CAC’s executive director of Development & Marketing.
Nottingham attended the Art Institute of Atlanta and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in photography from East Texas State University.
After owning a successful freelance business for several years, he was hired as chief photographer for Texas Parks & Wildlife in 1996, where he served for 25 years.
Nottingham retired in 2021 but continues shooting professional assignments, teaching workshops and public speaking.
The second exhibit departing the CAC after today is “Open Spaces,” a featured exhibit from Art Cloth Network guaranteed to delight quilters or fabric artists.
“The Cultural Activities Center is privileged to present this collection of works from regional textile artists and hopes that you will take advantage of seeing this group’s first exhibit in Central Texas,” Pearson said. “The exhibition features cloth transformed by adding or subtracting color, line shape, texture, value or fiber to create a compelling surface.”