2016 is shaping up to be a big year for Downtown Las Cruces. The highly anticipated Downtown Plaza is on budget and right on track for completion this summer. The project includes a stage large enough for a full orchestra and seating for more than 1,400 spectators. The space can also accommodate 175 booths making it the new home for events like Salsa Fest and the Wednesday Farmers’ and Crafts Market. (The larger Saturday Market will remain on Main Street).
But the plaza is just the tip of the iceberg says Arianna Parsons, executive director of the Downtown Las Cruces Partnership (DLCP). “This will be one of the most pivotal years for maturing downtown,” she explains. “We’re at the point where we are officially a revitalized community. We’ve been talking about revitalization for decades, and it’s now about growth.”
Expect exciting announcements in the near future like the launch of the Heart of Las Cruces app this spring. The app will feature a comprehensive list of businesses, events, and promotions in not just the Downtown area, but also in the hip Mesquite Historic District and the artsy Alameda Depot District.
This year also expect to see wider sidewalks, landscaping for beautification and shade, and more event-based space. The DLCP is also on a big push to bring in more restaurants, bars, and retail businesses and to restore and protect historical buildings, like the Amador Hotel, that give our community character. “Historic preservation is lengthy, but it’s really important,” Arianna notes. “What history we do have remaining, we have to take care of because it’s our cultural heritage and one of those things that actually drives tourism and gives us a really unique feel as a community.”