East Side Wichita Falls continues to see growth

Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 6:38 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 22, 2023 at 10:53 AM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - The East Side of Wichita Falls is seeing a business boost. One business owner on the East Side saw the community he loved go through ups and downs. He wants to see the East Side turn into the city he once knew it as.

“If you build one, then two will come, then three, then four, then five,” said Dwight Haywood, owner of Wangs and Thangs.

This is how Haywood sees change coming to the East Side. A day at a time, and one by one. He entered the business industry when many thriving businesses were on the East Side.

“Everybody wants nice things. Don’t nobody want to say this is the ghetto and nothing good over here? That’s not true. It’s less crime over here than it is anywhere in the city. But it just has the stigma that it’s bad,” said Haywood.

Haywood believes when drugs were brought to the East Side, it could have created a bad stigma. Business owners like Haywood and Bates hope others see the East Side’s potential.

“More people will know that there are things out here like there’s the cafe out here, there’s a lot of vacant buildings around the area that still be used. This used to be a tire shop for my sister and me growing up, and we’re using something different with it,” said Renae Bates, owner of Emmalee’s Shop.

“We trying to get to the point where no one has to leave. We want the other side; it’s still Wichita Falls, Texas. It doesn’t matter if it’s the East Side or West Side. It’s an awareness thing; the same thing that can be over here can be over on the other side of town,” said Councilman Larry Nelson of District 2.

Bates agrees with Nelson. She said having a business on the East Side is fulfilling.

“I think it’s an honor. I really truly do because growing up, we didn’t realize it was so separate for the communities cause our parents never taught us that there was a separate,” said Bates.

For those who want to open a business on the East Side, Haywood said.

“Hey man, come because it’s coming. The land is cheap; the taxes is cheap. Hey, why not,” added Haywood.