GRAND ISLAND, Neb. -- Foot traffic isn't downtown Grand Island's strong suit. But the downtown Grand Island director says developments like the Chocolate Bar are going to change it.
"The downtown is literally the heartbeat of a city. And if a downtown feels dead then the perception is that there is nothing to do in the town or that the town's dead. So I feel it's really important to have foot traffic to get people downtown," said Amos Anson the Downtown Grand Island Director.
Business owners are already seeing the potential in downtown.
"I chose downtown because downtown was the place that I found that had heart and soul and that's the same way I run my business," said Chelsea Sackschewsky, the owner of Kindred Lifestyle Boutique, which is opening Saturday.
"We wanted to move downtown just because we liked the historical look of downtown. I feel like the brick and wood flooring, just the way the streets are set up downtown fit what we were trying to do and what we were trying to portray for our business," said Liz Busch the owner of Strut Boutique.
And Anson isn't just talking about retail. He wants more people to live downtown too.
"We have a few lofts downtown, The Yancey has quite a few, but our goal is to, as a downtown business improvement district is to, not only encourage retail, but also to get more people living downtown," said Anson.
Sackschewsky said, "I believe that downtown is gonna be the next big thing. I think that downtown is gonna provide something that there isn't here in Grand Island, and I'm hoping to be a part of that."
Anson says he hopes his current projects will encourage more people to come downtown and see what it has to offer.