|Updated: 3/08/2012 8:16 am
||Published: 3/07/2012 7:45 pm
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Wednesday, developers announced a $20 million facelift for Main Street in downtown Little Rock. The historic Blass building at 317 Main Street will soon be transformed into shops, businesses and apartments.
"I think there's a lot of room for growth. I mean, you have a lot of abandoned buildings," says Christopher Kalamese.
"Why don't you go to Main Street, Little Rock?" asked FOX16's Kelly Dudzik.
"There's just not many restaurants compared to Main Street downtown North Little Rock and also Rivermarket," said Kimberly Brown.
Two new restaurants have opened on Main Street in the past year. One of them is Maduro Cigar Bar and Lounge.
"There's a lot more people that enjoy cigars in central Arkansas than I thought there would be," says Michael Peace.
Peace opened Maduro three weeks ago.
"People are out walking around all the time going to eat and going to places to have fun, and so it's great for us now to be a part of that," says Peace.
Soon joining Maduro on Main will be the $20 million redevelopment project.
"We think it's the perfect time for Main Street to really get kicked off with the Blass Project," says developer Chris Moses.
Wednesday, Doyle Rogers Company and Moses Tucker Real Estate announced a 140-thousand square foot revitalization effort in the historic Blass department store building and its three story annex. So how much work will it take?
"They're not as bad as you think. We've got a good effort," says Moses.
Over the next year, the space will become the new home for the state's Child Support Enforcement office, six to eight stores or restaurants, twenty loft-style apartments and a three-hundred space parking garage adding new life to Main Street.
"The Blass project is the perfect catalyst to really energize all of Main Street," says Moses.
The developers tell FOX16 they expect the buildings and the parking garage to open next summer, or even as early as May of 2013. For more information, call Doyle Rogers Company at 375-1662 or Moses Tucker at 376-6555.