Momentum for North Main growth continues into new year

Momentum for N. Main growth continues into new year
Updated: Jan. 8, 2020 at 12:12 PM CST
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - We’re just over a week into the new year, and with that comes new opportunities.

For Evansville’s North Main neighborhood, the new year brings hope for new growth.

Up and down North Main Street, there is a subtle hustle and bustle that business leaders say deceptive. In fact, Tonya Hagan, President of the North Side Business Association, says that 2019 was one of the busiest years the neighborhood has seen in recent years.

“It has been steadily growing, but this past year is the biggest growth I’ve seen," Hagan said. "So many improvements that they’ve made to the street. The city is doing a wonderful job of upkeep, and all of the businesses are really banding together to help one another out.”

According to Hagan, the neighborhood saw a number of businesses move in during this past year: everything from restaurants to photo studios to sweet shops.

“We’re wanting to highlight North Main and the beautification that has happened," said Gayla Bell.

“Whenever the construction first started, there was a lot of negativity, and now all we hear is positive things. We hear people all the time going ‘It looks so good down here.’ We people taking advantage of the path for cyclists and pedestrians," Bell said. "We just see a lot more movement along the street over this past year.”

Bell owns a local cake shop called “Gayla Cakes.”

Six years ago she got her start on North Main Street, and a year ago she decided to move her business into a bigger building. That meant personal growth for Bell, but also provided a space for another smaller business to set up shop.

“A lot of focus is coming to this area, and so we’re just going to want to build on that," Bell said. "We’re going to make this more of a ‘Come play’ type of area. Family-friendly. That’s why we made this move and we wanted to stay on North Main to help support what’s been going on here.”

Both Hagan and Bell say they want to have more family-friendly events in 2020 starting with an Easter Egg hunt this spring.

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