LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A year ago, Downtown Lufkin was fighting a graffiti problem. Today, it's getting a makeover, one building at a time.
The city is teaming up with businesses to revamp downtown. They want it to be the center of life in Lufkin, once again.
"Everybody talks about how bad the economy is, but I think when you look around at all the local business owners and you see how everyone is working really hard to make their space a place that people want to go and people want to gather, it's really exciting," said Ben Harbuck, the general manager of Standpipe Coffee House.
When the renovation is complete in 12 days, Harbuck will be the general manager of the store in downtown lufkin.
"I think that people don't want to move away anymore," Harbuck said. "They want to stay in Lufkin. They want it to be a place to hang out. They want it to be the place that they love going."
The spot used to be Mister G's Fashions. Now it's getting a makeover like many other downtown businesses.
"We can see ourselves really being revitalized and coming back to the nostalgic of where we come from because downtown is the heart and soul of the city," said Barbara Thompson, the Main Street Lufkin director.
Many of the renovations are able to happen through a matching façade grant from the City of Lufkin.
Through an application process, business owners can be approved for the city to pay for half their building's facelift, up to $10,000.
Harbuck has lived in Lufkin most of his life and is now helping bring history back to his town.
"Standpipe was one of the, I think it was the oldest Lufkin water tower," Harbuck said. "It was built around 1897 and torn down in 1910. There's some really unique stories that go with it. We're going to have the whole history in here."
They're well on their way to restoring downtown to its former glory, one facade at a time.