A new look for Grand Island's Downtown is underway thanks to a $30,000 Nebraska Department of Economic Development grant. Grand Island business owners, employees and residents attended a meeting to discuss the first steps.
Craig Hand is the owner of Howard's Jewelry in downtown Grand Island. He says the turnout was impressive.
"I heard a lot of good ideas go back and forth. I think a lot of people had some questions answered too," said Hand.
Suggested ideas include more living space above buildings, more green space, as well as more ways to get loans. Hand says he would like to see it go a step further.
"I would like to see us rezone the district and do away with non-tax paying entities so that it can be zoned strictly business and residential and nothing else."
Judy Humiston is a Grand Island resident and attended the meeting. She says small changes can make the biggest difference.
"I threw in my two-cents worth which was I would love to see an ice cream parlor downtown because you get families down here and an ice cream parlor would be a great place for them to go," said Humiston.
Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture of Omaha will assist with the revitalization plan which is set to be finished and presented to the community around Mid-March of next year. Humiston says she thinks the city is in good hands.
"I'm very, very positive about this and hopeful for when they put this whole plan together and what comes out of it and goes on... I just see great things happening from it," said Humiston.