Leisure and Entertainment District
Since Portland voters approved the establishment of the Leisure and Entertainment (LED) district in May 2022, the City of Portland has purchased a city block in the Old Town area and began making improvements to the block. The purchases land is surrounded by 5th St, Houston St, 6th St & Elm St. This block will serve as the park center within the LED.
Although initial concept renderings have been produced, public input is needed to help determine what features and amenities are wanted in the LED park center. The City of Portland created a new event series called Families on Fifth. Once a month, the City will host an event to encourage residents and visitors to view the area, enjoy entertainment, and provide feedback on what the public wants to see in this space in the future.
The City of Portland created the Families on Fifth Event Series to familiarize the community with the new space with fun, family-friendly events. The first event held at the new block was a St. Patrick's Day with Cass Real Estate and Roger Creager. It was a great success. See the recap video here: vimeo.com/FoFStPatsDay2023 (link). The second Families on Fifth event was a Crawfish Boil. Thank you to everyone who bought plates! See the recap video here: vimeo.com/FoFCrawfish2023 (link).
Proposed Walkability for the LED & Surrounding Areas
City of Portland staff have curated a Proposed Shared Use Path for the LED and surrounding areas. The proposed map includes expanding the Sunset Lake Hike and Bike Trail (yellow) and the Railroad Trail (teal). City staff are always working with the project's architect to create necessary parking, walkability and beautification for the streets surrounding the Park + Public Space in the heart of the LED.
Leisure and Entertainment District Recap
The City of Portland recognized the originally established, also known as “Old Town”, area of Portland is underdeveloped and creating a burden on all Portland taxpayers. As a result, Portland City Council members and City management began planning a revitalization of the area. Revitalizing historic areas is a proven economic catalyst that increases commercial property tax and sales tax revenues, reducing the tax burden on residents.
The City hired a consulting firm to help determine the options and opportunities to increase commercial interest in the area. Another goal for the area is to create a space for all ages and interests to enjoy. Through meetings between the consultant, community members, businesses and homeowners in the area, it was determined a special leisure and entertainment district (LED) would create the best opportunity for revitalization. A concept for the LED was special alcohol sales that differed from the rest of the City.
The City of Portland’s Ordinances limit types of alcohol sales based on the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) laws. Therefore, creating a special exception to the established regulations, the City needed to pass legislation in the Texas Legislature. In the 2021 Texas Legislative Session, the City of Portland was able to pass a law, specific to Portland only, that would allow special alcohol sales within the LED. Part of the legislation required voters to approve the creation of the LED and accompanying alcohol sales. As a result, the City of Portland placed a proposition on the ballot during the regular election in May 2022. The proposition passed and the City of Portland is working to bring the LED to fruition!
As stated previously, the City of Portland needs feedback on what features and amenities should go in the LED park center. Join us at the monthly Families on Fifth events to enjoy wonderful entertainment and provide your feedback in person. The City will have an online input tool available soon, too. The City will post the link on PortlandTx.gov, City of Portland social media accounts, and newsletters once available.