Denton Neighborhood Picked for Better Block Program - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Denton Neighborhood Picked for Better Block Program



    An old Denton hot spot is about to get a second chance at life. A stretch of East Sherman Drive has been selected as the city's first "Better Block Project", a program aimed at revitalizing local neighborhoods. (Published Friday, May 16, 2014)

    A stretch of East Sherman Drive was selected to be Denton's 1st Better Block sight; a program that aims at revitalizing under-utilized neighborhoods.

    Residents along East Sherman Drive will soon have the chance to revitalize the once booming block with the help of the Better Block Program.

    The stretch of neighborhood from Bell Ave. north-east past Linwood Drive was selected out of a dozen spots in town pegged as possible spots to try out the project.

    Better Block, a Dallas based group, works with neighborhoods around the world and in the Metroplex to identify untapped potential and help revitalize areas. On the group's website they show several sites where they've setup pop-up shops and pedestrian events to draw attention and show how spots could be used.

    Ron Menguita from the City of Denton Planning Department says the program often helps bring developers into spots like Sherman Drive to help it reach its full potential permanently as well.

    "It just hasn't been redeveloped for whatever reason so we hope with the Better Block effort it can re-energize that area," said Menguita.

    Neighbors on Sherman said it was once a two-lane stretch of road with several shops lining it. The area was even home to a Piggly Wiggle grocery store that still sits vacant today.

    "It was a hub, and it was a hub through," said Joe Prevratil who owns Holly's Garden and Florist on the stretch.

    Prevratil says several business owners and entrepreneurs have shown interest recently in redeveloping some of the empty store fronts and lots along the stretch. He says an increase in traffic since the opening of Collins Stadium just up the road has helped spark interest.

    "I hope to see it revitalized," he said. "Where the cars will just slow down and not speed on by."

    The business owner is hopeful the Better Block exposure can help his businesses and others thrive and bring the block back to the boom it once experienced.

    Better Block will hold a community walk and talk in the neighborhood on May 27th at 6:30pm. It will be a chance for neighbors and community members to share their ideas for the area with the group and discuss the future of Sherman Drive.