Crews have begun work on a new parking garage in Downtown Temple, with the project expected to last about 13 months.

Downtown Temple is set to add some really great places to eat, shop, and live. With all the great additions and renovations planned for the historic downtown area, you'll need a place to park. Crews have begun work on a new parking garage, and according to a report from KCEN, the work should last about 13 months.

KCEN reported back in late May of this year that the City of Temple is investing $60 million to improve the city's downtown area, including several big projects that would see the addition of two parking garages, living spaces, and new restaurants.

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The City also announced improvements to streets from Central Ave to Adams Ave, along with new plans to renovate the Hawn Hotel, Arcadia Theater, and the old Sears building.

In late September, a partnership was announced with real-estate developer Turner Behringer Development, who plans to work the renovations.

Temple City Manager Brynn Myers tells KCEN, “The Hawn Hotel and Arcadia Theater have been pillars of Temple’s historic downtown for nearly a century, so we are beyond excited to see that these landmarks are going to get a second life. There have been so many dedicated people who have worked to make this a reality, and we can’t wait to see what the end result will be.”

The plan is to renovate the Hawn and old Sears building into 57 apartments with one or two bedrooms, plus adding in some commercial retail space to include storefronts, restaurants, and office space.

The goal is to have the renovations complete by spring of 2023.

Other plans for Downtown Temple include several new restaurants and breweries. You can read more about that HERE.

Toys For Troops Returns to Make Christmas in Central Texas a Merry One

Operation Phantom Support and these fine sponsors are once again collecting toys to help Central Texas military and first responder families in need have a joyous holiday.

If you want to help make some Christmas magic happen, please donate a new, unwrapped toy or gift at one of these fine Central Texas drop-off locations.

Exploring Belton History: The Penelope House Revealed

This majestic mansion has stood the test of time and still amazes those who pass it. Don't fight your curiosity. Take a look at what's inside.

The Ruins of Sparta and Bland Lie Deep Beneath Belton Lake

Beneath the placid waters of Belton Lake lay the bones of two towns where people you know may have grown up. When Belton Dam was constructed in the mid-1900's, the towns were emptied for the sake of "water and progress", as one Bland resident panned.

These images, courtesy of the Bell County Museum in Belton, give a glimpse into the lives of the people who called the Cowhouse Valley home before it became Belton Lake.