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Hometown Pride Tour: Downtown business expansion

Updated: Apr. 22, 2021 at 8:31 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - While many businesses had to adjust how they did things during the pandemic, it didn’t mean everything came to a standstill. On Thursday’s stop of our Wichita Falls Hometown Pride Tour, Mason Brighton takes a look at how the gears kept turning to bring new businesses to downtown.

In the midst of the pandemic, business moved virtual and Downtown Wichita Falls Development settled into their home offices.

“We had to adapt too,” said Jana Schmader, executive director of Downtown WF Development. “We had to we started showing properties virtually and we would drone buildings to make sure we could send them out to developers out of town who couldn’t travel here anymore.”

Even while the front doors remained locked, day after day interest in downtown never went away.

Now, as things have reopened and events start to happen again, momentum in the heart of the city is pushing ahead.

“We have some retail spaces opening up, construction is back on track and it’s just going to be a big boom coming in the coming months,” said Schmader.

Renovations are nearly complete at 620 Ohio Street, ready to be the next home of just about anything.

“We’ve been pro-downtown for over 20 years now and downtown even after the pandemic, it’s showing great signs of coming back,” said John Dickinson, owner and contractor, 620 Ohio.

As life slowly gets back to normal, some new mom-and-pop shops might soon fill storefronts like this once again.

“We are still working with a number of developers right now and our client list is over about 30,” said Schmader. “We are still showing properties, we are trying to get our retail spaces filled, we are working through a lot of plans right now with some different people and that’s what we love.”

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