What once seemed far away is now closer to reality. That's what Ty Livingston, the city's planning and community development director, thinks about the new downtown progress.
Target's March 2013 opening no longer seems distant.
"Well as you can see, the Target store has the walls up. The roof is on. The floor as I understand it is being poured later this week," Livingston said.
Around the corner at the developing Costco, most of the walls and roofing still need to be added. The store is schedule to open in mid-November. Livingston says he's confident the store will be ready for opening day.
"It goes very quickly from this point. We have half the roof that's already complete that wasn't on even as last week," he said.
The Holiday Inn Suites are also on schedule for August 2013.
But there are other changes that don't include business coming in. T.G.I. Friday's closed last month. Deals and Fashion Bug are closing soon due to corporate changes. However, Livingston claims interest is already buzzing for T.G.I. Friday's, and he "would be surprised if those spaces stay vacant for very long." However, he is slightly surprised the out lots by Bass Pro Shops are still up for grabs, after almost a year.
"I think part of it is we got the downtown going almost right after that was developed. So some interested parties that were looking down there are interested here."
He's hoping that interest carries over to consumers, who can finally see what the city has envisioned all along.
"A lot of it was 'hey we're thinking about this'. This is what we're looking at down here. And it was a lot of planning. A lot of effort went into it behind the scenes. But it's exciting to have this coming out of the ground now," he said.
Two new multi-tenant buildings outside of Target are also on schedule and drawing lots of interest. Livingston expects those spaces to house between 8-12 new businesses.