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.
"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.
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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.