Lifelong Plano resident Zane King has been named the new Executive Director of Historic Downtown Plano Association (HDPA). HDPA is a group of all of the business owners, merchants, property owners, and community members of the downtown Plano area. As the new Executive Director, King hopes to elevate downtown Plano as an arts district and help garner more exposure for local businesses and artists.
“I am here to serve the business leaders and the community in downtown Plano,” King says. “My goal is to ultimately make downtown Plano one of the top destinations in all of the DFW metroplex.”
Over the years, downtown Plano has slowly evolved as an arts and dining district. Downtown Plano is home to artisan coffee houses like XO Coffee and 1418, bars like Vickery Park and Hub Streat, a farmers market, a small outdoor concert venue, and more.
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“I remember when downtown Plano was 12 antique shops, a single restaurant, and the Queen of Hearts magic shop,” King says. “It was dead, for lack of a better word. It used to be just a quick cut through to get to Wylie.”
Zane King, along with the rest of the members of the Historic Downtown Plano Association, believe that downtown Plano has the potential to grow as an arts and cultural district and to become an area that will atrract visitors from across the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.
“A rise in tide raises all ships,” King says. “If we can consistently bring 500 or 600 to events here in downtown Plano, then we are definitely doing our job. Plano Mayor LaRosiliere has a saying, ‘believe the hype,’ and we all believe the hype that downtown Plano is roaring back to life.”
King plans to continue to uphold downtown Plano’s long-established recurring events, like movie night in Haggard Park, as well as the monthly wine walk. He also has plans for an outdoor concert series to launch in the summer of 2019. For the holidays, there will be a window decorating contest taking place between the shops in downtown Plano, beginning November 30.
“We have some really creative artists that are going to be working with our shop owners to help make downtown Plano sparkle during the holiday season,” King says. “We’ve taken inspiration from larger cities, like New York and LA, that have these massive window displays.
Read more: Artist Joshua King, leader of the Downtown Plano Mural Project, talks about the future of art
In terms of business, Zane King believes that the addition of new residential communities will bring in an increase in commerce.
“We are building new apartment complexes that will have additional retail and restaurant spaces,” King says. “The building owners down here are heavily invested in the Historic Downtown Plano Association and in downtown Plano in general. They have been absolutely wonderful in making sure that there are a wide variety of businesses and that these businesses complement each other, rather than compete with each other.”
One of the most frequently asked questions among downtown Plano regulars is in regard to the future of the storefront where Plano-favorite diner Angela’s at the Crosswalk used to be. While nothing is set in stone for the restaurant space, King does know of three potential new occupants.
“There are challenges that come with a really old building, and making sure everything is up to code,” King says.
As the new Executive Director of the Historic Downtown Plano Association, King believes in prioritizing the community and creating something unique, fun, and exciting for people from all over the DFW metroplex.
“The reason I have a job is to serve this community,” King says. “I take my job very seriously, and that means making sure that all of these businesses and happenings bring people in and positively influence the community.”