This Content is Sponsored by Anderson Knight Architects.
Aggieville is an amazing, high-energy community asset thanks to many people who have worked tirelessly to get us to this point. But we can’t stop now. We must imagine how Aggieville could serve as a model for mixed-use entertainment districts going forward.
It isn’t going to be easy, but it is necessary and it is possible.
Imagine a flexible space where, on a pleasant day, people might meet up for a coffee date before work, and where an employee from a nearby coworking space might wander, tablet in hand, for an outdoor hot-desk served by district-wide WiFi, and where a local musician might play to a crowd of fans who have purchased food and drinks from nearby businesses. Imagine a space to host a travelling art show one week and a dance party one evening and a poetry slam another. There’s no limit to the creativity that this space will host, if we would only create it.
This destination district needs spatial definition. In tomorrow’s Aggieville, a large canopy might provide shade on a hot summer day, and shelter from the rain or snow. String lighting will tie the entire district together, providing wonder on summer nights. For holidays, the lights turn red and green or red white and blue or orange and yellow for the annual Aggieville Trick or Treat. On either side of the canopy, you’ll find rooftop bars full of visitors watching the energy below, and rooftop dining catering to a more foodie crowd, and a couple of rooftop apartments that are always in high demand. Density has energized this district.
On Moro, they’ve traded parking for people. Most businesses can’t imagine operating without the patrons who meander from shop to shop between the planters and under the cooling canopy of trees. There’s drop-offs on either side of the district where patrons exit public transportation and rideshare vehicles. Out of town guests simply park in a parking garage nearby and bicyclists hang their bikes near the drop-off. Nobody seems to mind, nor are they in a hurry to leave because Aggieville is a place where you can eat, sleep, play, work and live.
Why are we focused on a drinking establishment area for students and not more focused on a shopping center for the residents of MHK? Aggieville has turned into a hot mess in the last years. Restaurants do not stay open for more than a few years, the restaurants & bars are always a mess, and you can’t even take your children there to enjoy the few of the good restaurants that are even still there. Example : I was trying to enjoy the parade with my children for ST. Patricks day and we were playing Jenga (a game my children love) at the Yard Bar and my daughter asked me what a very explicit word meant. The graffiti that lines the walls, tables, games is not something I want my children exposed to.