The city of Midland has roughly 120,000 people. Most cities this size, don't have a downtown like Midland with lots of tall buildings. So, when the downtown started to become less of an attraction and more of just a place people worked, the city decided to do something about it.
From blowing up a building, to revamping centennial plaza…the city is putting a little recreational life back into the core of the Tall City and pretty soon, downtown might be the hot spot for lunch and people's Friday and Saturday night destination.
Clayton Williams had a lot to sing about back in September when he reopened business towers in downtown Midland and soon more future downtown business owners could be singing that same tune.
"Retail follows roof tops, in the case of the downtown we already in a way have the roof tops," explains Brandon Melland, Planner for the City of Midland.
With the framework all set, the city is working on, how to best reuse the buildings.
"We have some really unique buildings that offer a lot of possibility for things in the downtown area, like residential usage, downtown living which can give away to other types of things like recreation, retail," says Melland.
Right now, downtown is busy with commercial business, even though it feels slow and empty when you drive though it. To change that feeling, the city is exploring ways to make downtown feel more lively. Big 2 news asked one downtown food vendor if he’s noticed more activity downtown.
"I actually have, I've noticed people walking their dogs, people come by and take photographs for their weddings. The activity has really picked up, now that there's food readily available," says downtown food vendor, Todd Brown with Brown’s BBQ.
People go where there’s food and this new food vendor license is proof.
"As far as restaurants go, potential for after 5pm activities, there are lots of projects underway that are going to facilitate that," explains Melland.
Some of those future projects in the works are restoring the Ritz Theater, a new bar expected to come to downtown and also a new parking lot so people have a place to park, when downtown is the place to be!