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TEXAS-SIZED RIBBON CUTTING HERALDS THE REBIRTH OF HOUSTON’S EAST END … AND IT ALL STARTED WITH SIDEWALK

The Greater East End Management District today announced a larger-than-life ribbon cutting would be held Feb. 18, 2011, at 10 a.m. in the CVS/pharmacy parking lot at 4516 Harrisburg Boulevard at Lockwood Drive, Houston, Texas, 77011, to focus attention on Harrisburg Boulevard’s new sidewalk construction. But it’s not the ceremony itself that’s oversized; it’s the ribbon. A supersized ribbon will extend along the newly constructed sidewalk. Attendees will line up along with it and, armed with pairs of scissors, will cut on command to symbolize the progress made to date and the contributions of so many in accomplishing it.

Set to the rousing music of the Austin High School marching band, the festive event will feature area business leaders as well as elected officials including U.S. Rep. Gene Green, state Sen. Mario Gallegos, state Rep. Carol Alvarado, state Rep. Jessica Farrar, Councilman Ed Gonzalez and METRO President George Greanias.

The sidewalk marks the first step in the East End’s journey toward economic revitalization. Soon bike lanes, street lamps and the METRO Light Rail on Harrisburg Boulevard will run through the area, encouraging residents and visitors alike to leave their automobiles behind as they frequent many retail and commercial improvements.

“The Greater East End Management District, along with its partners,” said GEEMD President Diane Schenke, “is responding to the demands of the community for a shaded and walkable Harrisburg Boulevard. The District sees Harrisburg Boulevard with its East End Light Rail, updated streetscape and new commercial development as leading the way to a revitalized East End.”

David Corpus, general manager of Banco Herencia on Harrisburg Boulevard, agrees that the District has stepped up to be a leader by not only dedicating some of its own funds, but also utilizing them well as it secures more.

“I believe they’re doing a really great job revitalizing the neighborhood,” he said, “it’s something this neighborhood hasn’t seen in decades. They’ve made great decisions about using their funds.”

The 20-year, mixed-use development program is already in place, creating more than 527,000 square feet of retail and office space, plus almost 160,000 square feet slated for light industry. As a result of the projected build out, the city, METRO and the state together stand to gain more than $2.9 million in sales tax and $6.3 million in property tax revenue every year.

Many investors have already shown their faith in the area by building several new, multimillion-dollar housing developments such as the Alexan Lofts, Perry Homes and Lovett Townhomes. Gulfgate Mall is now Gulfgate Center, featuring an HEB Supermarket and a Lowes Home Improvement store.

About the GEEMD

The Greater East End Management District was founded in 1999, and its mission is to enhance the image of the District, attract more businesses and increase economic activity in the area. The District covers 16 square miles and borders Clinton Drive to the north, Loop 610 to the east, Telephone Road and Interstate 45 to the south and the Houston Belt and Terminal Railroad to Highway 59 to the west. Visit www.greatereastend.com to learn more.

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