Downtown Plano named one of America’s best downtowns

Julie Fancher, Dallas Morning News

 

Mayor Harry LaRosiliere declared Plano an urban city at last month’s state of the city address.

And Livability.com agreed. The website named downtown Plano among the top 10 Best Downtowns in America. Plano, which ranked eighth on the list, was the only city in Texas to be included.

Alexandria, Va., was No. 1.

Plano officials trumpeted the designation on Monday.

“This ranking is a wonderful reflection on how Plano’s downtown continues to grow and evolve to attract residents, businesses and visitors to this vibrant area of our city,” said Mark Thompson, director of Visit Plano.

Livability.com came up with its list by surveying more than 2,000 small to midsize cities on criteria such as low vacancy rates, new development and an influx of people. It also looked at culture and nightlife, as well as farmers markets, arts and parks, and other trends that indicated “whether people were in the downtown areas both day and night.”

Livability.com said Plano’s downtown comeback is “far from finished,” saying the addition of the DART rail line in 2002 connecting Plano to Dallas helped get downtown “back on track.”

“Today, Historic Plano pulsates with a renewed energy that has brought in new offices, retail, restaurants and residents,” according to the website.

Last October, downtown Plano was named one of four “Great Neighborhoods” by the American Planning Association on its annual Great Places in America list.

Here are Livability.com’s best downtowns:

1. Alexandria, Va.

2. Santa Monica, Calif.

3. Greenville, S.C.

4. Bellevue, Wa.

5. Pittsburgh, Pa.

6. Boise, Idaho

7. Tempe, Ariz.

8. Plano

9. Colorado Springs, Colo.

10. Evanston, Ill.

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