Sara Story, NBCDFW.com
Denton's downtown plan just received an award from the North Texas Council of Governments.
The City of Denton came up with a plan to tackle its growing pains, and now it's paying off.
Denton's Downtown Implementation Plan received an award from the North Central Texas Council of Governments. The city hopes this blueprint will attract people to the fast-growing area.
"Our downtown is going to change tremendously," said Ron Menguita with the City of Denton Planning Department.
He said DTIP is designed to improve economic development and increase pedestrian activity. The plan has not been fully carried out; however, parts of it, like slanted parking spots on Hickory Street and downtown planters, were put into action.
"There has been a lot more action on the square. Tons of people up on the square at night, just hanging out and going to the different restaurants and bars. It has grown off the square too," said Denton resident Cindy Simmons.
"It's changing right before your eyes," said J&J Pizza owner Joe Vulpitta.
Vulpitta said just a few years ago, the downtown area was dead. But it has come to life, and the city is adjusting.
"They worked hard on getting this area up and coming," said Simmons.
In the midst of all the development, the city is still finding ways to preserve its character.
"It's the backbone, it's who we are. That history is important," said Menguita.