After years of struggling to find its niche, Downtown Bryan appears to have finally hit the jackpot. Outside buyers are investing in property they hope will improve the growth of historic downtown Bryan.
John Hendry, with the Economic Development Association in Downtown Bryan says they're headed in the right direction.
"Pretty much a night and day difference. You can tell a dramatic difference from five to 10 years ago and what downtown looks like now," says Hendry.
In the past two months, nine properties have been contracted out. As of last week, six have closed on their sales.
Astin building is being renovated and should be ready for use within the next six to nine months. Two properties on north main have been vacant for almost 20 years. Now the buyer is looking into making those into a retail shop and a nighttime hotspot.
"I believe momentum is building and phase two is planned now. The planning and engineering should be finished this summer. And we look forward to construction of Bryan Avenue side of historic downtown," says Hendry.
There will also be two new restaurants in business, downtown. One ready to go in a couple weeks and the other by the end of spring. Hendry is counting on the "domino theory" to keep the growth going.
That means fresh investors, drawn to downtown by new streets and landscaping, will spend their money to purchase and renovate other buildings.