Businesses in downtown Grand Prairie receive revitalization in hopes to boost local economy.
Grand Prairie is investing in a pricey facelift.
The city has been fixing up multiple storefronts in the Downtown area. The goal is to revitalize the historic Main Street and bring more traffic to it.
"It's not so much as a renovation as it is a restoration," said Bob O'Neal, Director of Economic Development for the City of Grand Prairie.
O'Neal said residents wanted the city to pay more attention to Downtown.
"Now we're focusing on the business storefronts themselves and revitalizing those to bring back that great look and feel," he said.
The historic Uptown Theater underwent major renovations three years ago.
"Everybody loves the old time feel, but everybody loves all the new technology and the new kinds of entertainment that we have. And that's what we hope to bring," said O'Neal.
About a quarter of all available space in Downtown Grand Prairie is currently unoccupied. City officials hope the revitalization effort will help bring in more businesses.
People are responding to the changes so far.
"It feels good because that way the city comes back up and it looks nice," said Grand Prairie resident Emilio Duarte.
"I think it's amazing," said another Grand Prairie resident, Jane Colfer. She added, "When they have the farmers market we come down every weekend which I think is a real boost to Grand Prairie."
New York Joe's, a local pizza and pasta restaurant on Main Street, fills up with locals on a regular basis.
"The football team, actually when they're at the store during the season we provide them food before football games and everything," said waitress Lauren Lovin.
A large picture of John F. Kennedy hangs inside the restaurant, showing the iconic figure in the heart of Grand Prairie during its heyday. City workers hope to bring back that spark in the near future.
Grand Prairie has divided up the downtown restoration project into three phases. City officials say so far they're well under their $1 million budget for phase one. They hope to progress onto the second phase this Spring.