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URBAN SHERMAN

Restoring The Past And Embracing The Future

Founded in 1846 a mere year after Texas was annexed into the Union, Sherman has a history as rich and storied as Texas itself. From the downtown’s humble beginnings born under the shade of a Pecan tree to the bustling urban and industrial setting you see today, there is so much more to come as Sherman is propelled into the future by unprecedented growth. 

Today, a visit to Sherman’s downtown sees less history and more empty or institutional buildings. Seemingly lost are the tapestry of stories such as underground tunnels leading to speakeasys, vibrant commerce, crime sprees like Bonnie and Clyde, or the facades of great buildings that formed the backbone of what Dun & Bradstreet referred to as “the financial center of Texas.” 

That will all change if a group of local business leaders have their way. But, revitalizing downtown Sherman is not a new idea. Many efforts have been attempted in the past but encountered wild fluctuations in real estate values, financial markets, and other difficult times. What makes this latest effort different from past initiatives? The answer is coordination and focus, complete with new energy and levels of support from the business community, investors, citizens, and the City of Sherman directly. 

Restoring the past, embracing the future, and building the community. That is the purpose of Urban Sherman, a group formed to achieve the goal of making Downtown Sherman vibrant once more and worthy of its history. This new focus is the direct result of Sherman’s recent Master Plan revised with heavy input from citizens. The people of Sherman overwhelmingly stated that one of the top priorities over the next decade should be on its historic downtown. While many investors and businesses already had the vision, having the citizen’s support plus the commitment of the city’s elected officials and staff, confirmed the need and demand.

Urban Sherman was established shortly thereafter to make all this happen by being a consolidated voice for downtown revitalization. It communicates opportunities available downtown by sharing information on properties to potential investors, or for people who want to establish a business downtown. By connecting people with accessible real estate, it brings businesses, investors, and the community together. In order to maintain the momentum of these efforts, Urban Sherman actively works to promote existing businesses in downtown, bringing awareness by supporting events, news, and emerging projects. 

Finally, Urban Sherman strives to be a neutral advocate for downtown. The organization makes sure investors and businesses are aware of the city’s programs like the 380 Program, TIRZ incentives, and DBig. The 380 Program provides a refund of sales tax to downtown business owners and DBig grants monies using TIRZ dollars to provide matching dollars spent on investing projects. Developers associated with Urban Sherman can speak to what they have learned from the city and share that knowledge and first-hand experience with new developers and investors. 

As one of several founders and active investors in Urban Sherman, David Downtain is thrilled to share the story of what is happening downtown. You can feel the enthusiasm when he talks about the efforts. “We are seeing what it’s becoming – a great urban mercantile community again, where it all begins.” He recalls the rich history of downtown that was the center of commerce resulting in a decline due to big box stores and development. “So many people have fond memories of downtown, and Urban Sherman is honoring that history plus Sherman’s cultural arts, while embracing the future,” he continues.

Urban Sherman gets calls every week from people wanting information about workspace, restaurant, living and retail real estate opportunities downtown. He continues, “Let’s create multiple projects and promote all new and existing downtown businesses equally. By welcoming the conversation with other developers and investors and working with them, we become the glue to bring it together.” 

The City of Sherman deserves ample praise for their support. “The City of Sherman, City Council, and staff have done a great job listening and helping,” David continues. “They came to us with how to aid this public private initiative of Urban Sherman. It combined is what’s finally allowing the revitalization to occur.” 

Former Deputy Mayor and current City Councilman Josh Stevenson agrees. “The City is very excited about what Urban Sherman is doing for downtown,” he says. “Downtown is the heart of our city, left alone for a long time. Now we see the unrealized potential with a bright future. It will be our focal point for the next fifty plus years!” 

Urban Sherman is bringing all the coalitions together to achieve its goal: Restoring the past, embracing the future, and building the downtown community. While Sherman is preparing for vast changes, Urban Sherman is working to ensure the downtown is revived and enjoyed for years to come.

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