Councilmember Elaine Hays stopped by a train museum and landmark during a recent trip to a conference in Kansas City.
This week, Amarillo City Councilmember Elaine Hays announced on social media that she visited Union Station in Kansas City. The Councilmember announced the visit on social media, stating that she was collecting ideas for the municipally-owned Santa Fe Depot in downtown Amarillo.
"Gathering ideas for our Santa Fe Depot while visiting Union Station," Hays said. "History, commerce, tourism, entertainment, children’s activities, restaurants. So many great possibilities."
According to Wikipedia, the Union Station in Kansas City was built in 1914 and served the Kansas City area as a railway station until 1985. The station was later redeveloped through a $250 million public/private restoration project. The station now contains a museum, restaurants, and other community attractions.
The City of Amarillo purchased the Santa Fe Depot in 2013. The property, which is appraised at $933,000 by the Potter-Randall Appraisal District, once served as the rail station for the Amarillo area and, prior to the City's acquisition of the property, was owned by auctioneer Bob Goree. The property was on the ballot in 2016 for a possible bond-funded redevelopment, but voters shot down the proposal. Since that time, the City of Amarillo has made no moves toward redeveloping the property, but the City Council has occasionally discussed the property in work sessions.
A spokesperson for the City of Amarillo was unavailable for comment at the time of this article's publication.