EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - We have new information about changes coming to Evansville’s North Main Street.
It has been about a year since the corridor project was completed, intended to revitalize the street-scape.
The purpose of revitalizing the street-scape was to pump blood into the economic development here and attract more businesses. Well here we are one year later and we can already see some impact, including a brand new fitness center and Gayla Cakes moving and expanding.
“The city has invested in North Main. It’s my turn to invest in my business and make it grow,” said Gayla Cakes owner Gayla Bell.
Bell started Gayla Cakes five years ago. Despite construction, they outgrew their space.
Now, they are moving a block south and doubling in size.
“We are already talking about new products. We’re talking about what we can do for the runners and walkers and bicyclers that run up and down the path,” said Bell.
She hopes to make the cake shop a destination.
“We’re making it short enough where people can see what we’re doing,” said Bell.
A new fitness center, ChampFit, is moving in, too. Owner Charles Hamilton grew up just a few blocks away.
“I love the fact that we built a new Main Street. It’s not the old Main Street that I grew up with. I’m just basically trying to capitalize on it. I saw it, and I saw the potential. I’m thinking not as of right now, but I’m also thinking 5 years from now,” said Hamilton.
Five years from now, Hamilton predicts the area will look a lot different.
“It will look better, and it will look more filled in, and it will look more prosperous than it does right this minute,” said Department of Metropolitan Development Executive Director Kelley Coures.
The city wants to preserve the character of an early 20th century corridor. Hamilton sees the value in being near new development and believes local businesses are key to Evansville’s revitalized areas.
“If people really just look at the vision of what Franklin Street has done, we can do the same thing on Main Street,” said Hamilton.
The city is still working on finding a grocer to replace the IGA that closed last winter. They just finished a study to see if an option including a gas station would be successful.
We will keep you updated on that as we learn more.