The city of Grand Prairie is investing $2 million to give a two-block area of downtown a 1950s face-lift.
Half of the project -- the block of Main Street east of Center Street -- has been completed so far. During the year it took to complete that portion of the renovation project, a handful of new businesses moved into that area of Main Street.
More businesses moved into the next block, anticipating the next phase of construction. The two-block area has more than 40 businesses with just four vacancies.
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"It all started a few years ago. We asked citizens if we can change one thing about Grand Prairie what would it be, and overwhelmingly they said Main Street," city spokeswoman Amy Sprinkles said.
City leaders say the construction is not only changing the look of downtown but the energy of the area.
"It's a really exciting time for us to be here, because the city is changing so rapidly," said Lynn McGinley, Chamber of Commerce president. "It's amazing to me how quickly in a year we've made this much difference."
Zoser Muniz, who opened a Subway store in downtown in December, said business has been good.
"It just keeps getting better, and I think, in the future, it's just going to be great business," he said.
Muniz, one of several longtime residents investing in downtown, said he spent roughly $500,000 to complete gut the 1920s building.
City workers are planning to begin the second phase of construction during the summer.