Lufkin City Council taking major step to improve the look of downtown - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Lufkin City Council taking major step to improve the look of downtown

Barbara Thompson and Dorothy Wilson Barbara Thompson and Dorothy Wilson

By Whitney Grunder - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – The Lufkin City Council is taking a major step to improve the look of downtown.

They're counting on a new façade improvement program to help bring more business to the heart of Lufkin. The project will restore buildings to their original look.

"We are building up our downtown area. We have come a long way," said Barbara Thompson, director of Main Street.

With its many improvements, city planners are hoping to give businesses a boost.

"When business owners have this opportunity to change the façade then they'll be encouraged I think to do other things when they're building, more improvements on the inside of the building and just generally bringing up the caliber of the quality of the businesses that are in the area," said director of planning, Dorothy Wilson.

If the program is adopted, interested business owners could apply for $10,000 façade improvement grants.

By restoring many of these buildings to their original glory the hope is that new visitors will be attracted to the down town area.

"I hope that's what becomes of this, that the buildings are returned to their original shape and beauty that their architecture designed them to be," said Roger Neil Moss.

Several down town professionals say they'll take advantage of the program.

"The grant program will be excellent to help business owners in the community invest in their property and the downtown area," said Owner of Synergy Fitness Patrick Strickland.

"It's a great area and it needs to be built up and the more business that comes, the more business down here," said Tiesha McFarland, owner of Angel-A-Mine Beauty Salon.

City planners hope new developments will motivate residents to spend more time exploring downtown Lufkin.

"People should really start to make an effort to come downtown for the events that we do so they can participate to encourage the business owners that are down there to keep working at bringing more business downtown," said Wilson.

More business means a stronger economy for all of East Texas.

Tuesday, the city council discussed the facade improvement grant program.

Now, a formal request will pursue the initial phase of funding the program -- $50,000.

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