Downtown Makeover

by Christa Lollis

Earlier this week a group of potential investors walked through the streets of downtown Lufkin. After seeing just a few buildings they knew they had found what they were looking for. "The city is amazing. There's so much stuff to be done with this city, with downtown. This is a sleeping giant like we've all been saying that there's just so much that can come downtown," Lisa Murphy, a potential investor, explained. And the city is hoping more investors feel that way.

Some new businesses have already come in and the Angelina House is rumored to have a contract on it. Once buildings like that are revitalized the city feels even more companies will come. "It would also be an incentive for restaurants and maybe some smaller type drug store type things that might be in that area that would cater to the clientele that would be in the downtown area," Assistant City Manager Keith Wright told KTRE. Right now there isn't much traffic but investors don't think it will be that way much longer. Murphy says, "It's ready to happen and it will work so that's why we decided that with all the opportunity, with all the empty buildings and stuff there's just way too much stuff that can happen with the right people and you put it in the right place and it will work."

The city is hoping to encourage more potential buyers through tax break incentives and historical preservation. They're hoping some plans they have in the works will bring the business back downtown. Wright tells us, "We have a goal for downtown. We want to develop it. Will it be successful? I guess the future will tell." While changes are already underway, the city says it could take 10 to 20 years for everything to be done.