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Make It Live After Five

By Jeremy Ray



No matter if you’re looking to network, socialize, or simply hang out with other Abilenians, “Make It Live After Five” just may be the event for you. Recently, West Texas Tribune was fortunate to be invited to the Beehive to witness great work in progress.{{more}}“Make it Live After Five” may have originated as a small gathering of residents of Hotel Wooten Apartments, which according to Wikimapia was restored from a hotel built in 1930 as part of Abilene’s downtown revitalization project. The small group that met at Hotel Wooten exchanged thoughts and ultimately decided to give birth to “Make It Live After Five”, which is an attempt to do what their lovely abode did in 1930 and that is to liven up the downtown area. That once small group is now a growing force in Abilene known as the Abilene Downtown Residents Committee or Abilene Downtowners and is now a hopeful force to fulfilling or mimicking a 1930 aspiration. How do you match or top the Historic Wooten which is now The Abilene Towers home to beautiful high-rise apartments with nice views? It is the second tallest building in Abilene at 16 stories tall, following only the Enterprise Tower. “You should see downtown from my terrace, you see another world from up here…It is more hip, more cosmopolitan than most people think” stated a Wooten resident and co-founder of ADRC, Rebecca Allen.Just how did all this start? One might ask. The initial event took place on Tuesday, July 7, 2009 at Wooten. Spawned by a desire to simply meet and greet. This particular event had 25+ in attendance and all had a great time.“As a group, the Abilene Downtowners want to increase efforts in making sure that the presence of Abilene’s downtown residents will be both felt and known during following special events and periodic activities : Artwalk Downtown Dayz The Abilene Downtown Association is doing a good job at bringing more people to the downtown from throughout the City and the Abilene Convention & Visitors Bureau is doing a great job at making our “neighborhood” a destination for out-of-towners. It is up to the Downtowners to do more to show that Downtown Abilene has people already living here, encourage others to move here, and more importantly, get the businesses to realize that we need more amenities in order to sufficiently LIVE downtown. And soon, we’ll be able to walk over the railroad tracks onto the south side of downtown Abilene to visit new neighbors and patronize new businesses — once the Abilene City Council’s new Southside Study is complete and implemented — now that’s exciting! We can’t wait for things to happen, we’ve got to make it happen! Network, Network, Network!” -A.C. Alrey The Abilene Downtown Residents Committee’s goals according to A.C. Alrey, a co-founder of ADRC are to: 1. Make Downtown Abilene become even more “live” after 5 PM, as well as on the weekends. 2. Continue what we’ve started — to successfully “Meet and Greet” with one another as downtown neighbors, a.k.a., “Abilene Downtowners”, in a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. 3. Show the current downtown establishments that are open after 5 PM, that we appreciate them and will support their business ventures, as well as activities and special events. 4. Build a much needed critical mass of current and future downtown residents for the purpose of promoting “LIFE” downtown and the need for various new amenities for downtown living. 5. Increase the Quality of Life for downtown residents, as well as the overall community. With goals like this revitalization should be inevitable. “We Live Downtown, Work Downtown, and Socialize Downtown” says co-founder Daniel L. Barnes.Also in attendance were Elizabeth Morris-Brown, Tom Dolan, and Sue Davis. Davis stated, “I’ve come here to turn Abilene to Fabilene.” She expressed her love for Abilene and her observation of Abilene’s growth potential. Downtown Attractions include: * The T & P Warehouse / Martini Bar * The Beehive Restaurant * Cypress Street Station Restaurant * The Leaf Cigar and Coffee Shop * Monks Coffee Shop * The Center for Contemporary Arts * The Cockrell Galleries * The Grace Museum * The Paramount Theatre * RelicsFor more information about “Make It Live After Five” contact A.C. Alrey at 325-480-6248.

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The West Texas Tribune is a community-based newspaper that has been published, uninterrupted, since May 2005. Our goal is to highlight events and people throughout West Texas as an independent, locally run newspaper. We thrive on the support of our local community.

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