New Cultural Scene for Downtown Midland

By: Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9

It's a place where many Midlanders spend their work week, but it's on the brink of change, and it's giving local entrepreneurs a new opportunity.

"It's mainly just 8-5 just business community only," Midland Mayor Wes Perry, said.

But the City of Midland is hoping to change that.

"Probably the biggest need today is going to be downtown housing, because that brings folks downtown 24 hours a day," Mayor Perry said.

A vacant building on the corner of Illinois and Main St. will soon be home to downtown's first apartment complex.

"They'll be a lot more activity," Mayor Perry said. "When you have more people, especially if they're living down here. It will be completely different."

NewsWest 9 spoke with the owner of the Lofts on Main. The Midland native began planning the three story project a few of years ago. He says the upscale 2,000 square foot units will have a modern and industrial atmosphere.

"We just want there to be more people here, 24 hours a day, living, shopping, going to restaurants," Mayor Perry said.

Two other developers are also interested in bringing new condos into downtown, but the revitalization won't just be for a place to live, local shops and eateries are also on the wish list.

"They'll be typically owned by local folks," Mayor Perry said. "Just mom and pops that want to do something very unique and small."

And in a couple weeks, the first of those new businesses will open it's doors right across from the courthouse.

"I'm trying to bring coffee and a little bit of culture downtown," Greg Robichaud, Owner of The Groundfloor Coffee House.

Greg Robichaud grew up in the Tall City, and he's hoping "The Groundfloor" Coffee House will help create a place not only for coffee lovers, but for a local art scene.

"I'm trying to bring some entertainment here," Robichaud said. "I have a stage over here. I'm going to have poetry, music. I have plenty of wall space for local artists, and I'm trying to bring that back to downtown Midland."