Bastrop residents will have a chance to weigh in on the future of the empty slab at 921 Main St. during a public hearing hosted by the city’s economic development corporation next week — part of an effort to determine the best use for the rundown space where three previous buildings have burned to the ground.
The concrete slab has a complex history in Bastrop. It was purchased by the city eight years ago — part of a larger piece of property — with the hope to expand parking downtown. The Downtown Business Alliance utilized the space for markets and events until officials declared it a hazard. Its side and rear walls were crumbling and leaking water into adjoining businesses.
Uncertain how to fix the problem, the city agreed to sell the lot to the BEDC last year for $4.
Since then, the corporation, with the help of engineers and the Texas Historical Commission, have been studying possible future uses for the space. Several ideas have been introduced through the years. Some have argued it should be preserved as a public gathering space, with greenery and benches to bring people into the downtown square. Others have urged officials to reconstruct a building there, bring in commercial businesses and get the property back on the tax rolls.
The BEDC will host a public forum on Feb. 13 at City Hall to gauge resident interest in the future of the lot.
It will also use that time to present two reports that were commissioned last year: an engineering study that outlined four potential uses for the site and a Texas Historical Commission study on best use of the space.