Downtown WF officials, business owner hopeful for a progressive 2020

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — As the year comes to an end we are taking a look at the tremendous growth we’ve seen in downtown Wichita Falls all of which has been toward a revitalized downtown.

Downtown Development reports there has been a consistent increase in businesses.

Executive Director Jana Schmader said in 2018, 18 businesses opened or expanded and this year there were about 20, one business owner said he is happy to be part of the momentum.

One childhood dream became a reality for one Wichita Falls native in March when he opened the first-ever cereal bar and arcade in the heart of downtown.

Marcus McGee is the owner of one of about 20 new businesses that opened in downtown Wichita Falls just this year and said his business is one of his proudest accomplishments but knowing he is adding to the revitalization of downtown is just as much fulfilling.

“After everybody been telling me that oh man, you’re doing a good thing, you’re doing a good thing I didn’t believe it until I started seeing all the families come down here,” McGee said.

Schmader said there has been and will continue to be a push for residential and experienced-based businesses downtown.

“We’re looking at a lot of mixed-use residential and we’ve studied this model on a lot of other cities and we’re encouraging it when we sit down at the table with investors, if you have a unique space let’s talk about different ways to use it,” Schmader said.

There has been consistent progress toward a vibrant downtown but Schmader said it takes everything to be well-rounded.

Just this year the 6th Street Winery, B-Cocoa, Stove Oven are some of the businesses that emerged downtown and Schmader promises more in the new decade.

“These small local businesses are the absolute backbone of our economy and of our community and so continue to support them year-round, encourage them,” Schmader said.

Both McGee and Schmader hope 2020 will be a year of continued change and upward movement for downtown Wichita Falls.

Schmader said we have a lot to look forward to in 2020 as there are some businesses in the development stage right now.

Schmader also added that 2019 was a big year for the organization itself, one of those being the purchase of the new building they now call home that had been a dream for 20 years.

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