ODESSA, TX (KWES) - The Odessa downtown revitalization project is in full swing. As the downtown area continues to develop, the city is working with the Small Business Development Center to bring more ideas for new businesses.
From the convention center to the theater renovation, to a new hotel, the city of Odessa is making investments to bring the downtown area back to life. Another way they're enhancing those improvements is finding someone to occupy a new business there.
Downtown Odessa is where there are busy streets. But the real traffic the city wants is the people.
"Many of us remember when downtown was the place to go," said Interim City Manager Michael Marrero. "Along with this investment and the other things downtown, we think this will enhance what we're trying to do."
A partnership with the Small Business Development Center, they're looking for more ways to revitalize the downtown area. What they're really looking for are people willing to bring those business ideas to the floor.
"I know there are a lot of businesses around the country looking at this area because of how well our economy is doing," said Marrero. "We think it's a unique opportunity to marry both of those."
Paul Evans Carpet and Flooring has been in the downtown area for 30 years. They've seen neighboring businesses pop in and out over time.
"I can remember as a kid, my mom bringing us downtown to do before school shopping and at that time, downtown was the real shopping center of the city," said Paul Evans Owner Jeff Russell. "We have been excited to see a few new businesses open and some other ones that have opened down here and we try to support them with our business and hope they do the same with us."
The city hopes to find either restaurants, bars or retail stores to open up. And that's always an invitation to more visitors to the flooring store.
"Anytime we can do things to get traffic downtown, it's a good thing," said Russell. "The more we can draw people down here and let them know what downtown has to offer, that's something as a merchant we're always excited about."
So if you think you've got what it takes, maybe you'll be the next franchise owner, and if you are, downtown Odessa is where you can stay for a while.
The franchising seminar will take place at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Tuesday, Apr. 24 at 800 W 4th St in Odessa. The first session is at 9 a.m. until noon. If you miss that, there's an evening session at 5 until 8 p.m.