It has been nearly ten months since Big Blue reopened. When you walk inside, you can see there is a lot of potential, but it is going to take time.
About a month ago, crews started cleaning up the building. Before, the floors in the grand entrance were covered with red tile and carpet, but the owners had a different vision in mind.
“We're at the point now where we've ripped all of that out and we're going to see if it's possible to restore the beautiful terrazzo,” Will Kelty, one of the owners of Big Blue said.
Even though they want to floors to change, there are some things they want to remain the same. One of those this is the uniqueness of each floor. So far, the first three floors are ready for tenants.
“We just signed out first four leases and we're looking forward to them moving in,” he said.
One of the improvements they hope will welcome more tenants is the elevators.
“Right now we have five of the six elevators up and running,” Kelty said.
However, their focus isn't just on bringing Big Blue back to life, they want to bring the community back together. Kelty said many people have moved away from the downtown area, but he and his partner want to bring the attraction back. This won't be an easy goal to accomplish.
It's going to take the whole community of Wichita Falls to revitalize the downtown area. It will also take new businesses and people thinking outside the box. However, they know it won't happen overnight, so they are focusing on the building right now.
“At the same time that we're trying to lease it up, we've got this bigger plan on just trying to clean things,” he said.
With 12 floors to clean, it is going to take a lot of time and hard work. Kelty said they also want the input from the community on what they want Big Blue to be. At first a Facebook page was going to be created for comments, but that was under the old owner and it didn't seem to work. So, they are working to figure out a better platform to get public input.
Since the elevators are no longer a concern, people are asking about the clock tower and when it will be turned on. Kelty said it works, but there are some issues with the timer that they are working on.
“We've got a ways to go, but we're making headway and we're looking forward to working with the community,” he said.