Temple: Residents excited about new downtown projects

TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) The talk of new projects in downtown Temple has many residents and businesses excited about the future.

Alma Johnson has seen the many changes to downtown Temple over the years, from her childhood days to now.

"When I was a child, downtown was the place to go. We all hung out, went to the dish shop, went to the movies, you know, the soda fountain at Woolworth,” she said.

There are plans to renovate two properties at 101 and 112 South 1st Street. The two properties will be turned into a tap room, pizza shop, coffee house and space for outdoor dining and entertainment.

"It’s just really exciting. To be able to come down here and eat, have lunch, have dinner and shop. I'm just, all my friends too, we're all excited about it,” Johnson said.

Each property will be able to receive up to $115,000 in grant funds. The project bringing an added boost to the area, something that local businesses say they'll welcome.

"It makes you feel good here at The Book Cellar. Gets more people downtown, gets businesses back up to where they should be at,” Russ Siegel said.

Late last year, plans were made to renovate the Hawn Hotel and Arcadia Theatre with modern shopping, food and living options.

"I think it's good that we're revamping. It brings a lot of business to the community and we just get to open our doors to everybody and let them know we're here,” Makiya Linear said.

The project on First Street is expected to be completed by this year.

Construction on the Hawn Hotel and Arcadia Theatre (phase one) is also set to begin this year with completion in three years. Phase Two of the project, which involves the Sears building, will start after.