BEATRICE, Neb. -- Residents in Beatrice are very proud of their historic downtown, and they will soon have a lot more to take pride in with some assistance from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development.
There are many buildings in downtown Beatrice that are upwards of 140-years-old, and many of those structures are at the top of the list when it comes to Beatrice's ongoing downtown Facade Improvement Program.
"One of the nice things about the Facade Improvement Program and some of the other development that's going on downtown is we're expecting around three million total dollars in downtown building improvements, and that's actually physical improvements being made to the buildings both inside and out," Executive Director of Mainstreet Beatrice Michael Sothan said.
Sothan said it's been decades since Beatrice has seen that type of investment into the downtown community.
“So it's really exciting. We've seen a lot of new business growth. So we've been seeing here over the past year and a half we've seen about 28 new businesses come to downtown."
One of those new businesses is Colleen's Catering, which is relocating into a building that was erected in 1922.
"We really wanted to get involved with the revitalization of historic downtown Beatrice and when we saw this building was for sale we jumped on it," Colleen Schonewise said. "We've really wanted to focus on downtown Beatrice and just find something down here cause it's so neat when you see other downtown's that are complete and they look nice."
Sothan said he is expecting to see a great deal of aesthetic improvements over the course of the next year.
So by the end of 2018, Beatrice visitors should able to see what $3 million can do to improve a downtown area.