Downtown Revitalization Efforts - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Downtown Revitalization Efforts

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The city of Wichita Falls continues to attract new businesses, but falls short when it comes to bringing establishments downtown.

“I think it's a wonderful place to live. It has its own feeling, own ambiance to it,” said Penny Morford, downtown Wichita Falls resident.

Morford says she enjoys living downtown, but does not like the fact she has to go outside of the city to do her shopping.

"Is it difficult, yes. There's not that much here. I would like for more to be here," said Morford.

Downtown Wichita Falls has seen better days. In the 1950s, 60s and 70s the area was thriving with places to eat, shop and have a good time.

Those glory days are gone, but Cynthia Laney, Executive Director of Downtown Wichita Falls says its organization is hoping to revive the once thriving corridor again.

"We want something that people want to come down here to get. We want it them to find that niche market,” said Laney.

Eight and Indiana Street is where the majority of restaurant and businesses are located in downtown, but residents and people who work in the area want to see more.

“I have no place to buy groceries downtown and i don't have a place to fill my car up downtown. I don't have any shops to go to buy clothes,” said Morford.

Rusty Eickman, works in downtown and says she believes it needs new businesses to attract more people back to this part of the city.

"I think a chain would draw more people, more hours. Because you know the mom-and-pops go home. There's really good restaurants here but I think a chain would draw more of a dinner crowd," said Eickman.

Laney says residents may not see major changes right now because progress is still to be made.

"Maybe it's not visible yet as some of the other shopping areas in Wichita falls, but it is here and everybody is really working on it,” said Laney.

Despite the lack of business some residents believe the vibe of the downtown area still remains.

Kevin Thompson, Downtown Wichita Falls resident said, "It would be nice to get some merchants in the area. I don't know if we want to go big name in downtown or we want to commercialize it because I like the feel we have right now."

The Downtown Wichita Falls Development said it has purchased a number of storefronts downtown and are in the process of restoring those buildings with hopes of later leasing them to lure in new businesses.

Jimmie Johnson, Newschannel 6