Decatur Streetscape Project showing signs of success


DECATUR -- It's a work in progress, but Decatur's Streetscape Project is already spelling out success.

It's a $14 million project, and the work is still underway. But the city and store owners say it's already starting to pay off.

You can see signs of the Streetscape Project all over downtown Decatur, like new sidewalks and facades on buildings.

As a result stores like Del's Popcorn Shop told WAND foot traffic has increased.

Decatur Public Works Director Rick Marley said it is helping attract new businesses, like a new Thai restaurant on Main Street.

Marley told WAND the Streetscape is also keeping some existing businesses like Sam's Hockaday sticking around.

"They were looking at a possibility of relocating out to another part of the city," Marley said. "But as a result of the Streetscape Project, they made a decision to stay downtown and reinvest significantly."

ADM is also bringing more employees downtown. Spokesperson Jackie Anderson said the company is bringing them in from other offices in the city.

Marley said attracting more people and businesses will contribute to downtown's overall culture.

He was a part of revamping Champaign's downtown back in the 1980's.

"If you go over there today, you'll see it's a vibrant downtown," said Marley, mentioning the array of businesses, restaurants, entertainment, offices on the second floors and new buildings.

"That is a good, solid indication of what can be done in downtown Decatur."

The Streetscape project should be complete by spring of 2014.

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