(SIOUX CITY, IA) West 7th Street is due for a make-over. Sioux City wants to update and improve the corridor from Wesley Parkway to Hamilton.
The City Council is in the process of talking about the plan and business owners in the area are excited about the change.
It may look a little run down but don't let the aging façade of West 7th fool you. There's a lot of history here.
Sioux City once had big plans for this area. In fact west 7th was originally supposed to be a big part of the downtown area but that fell through and many years have passed which is one reason why the city wants to take the aging corridor and restore it to its former glory.
In the 1940's the stretch of road was known as "auto row" because it was lined with auto repair shops and dealerships.
"It really morphed into more of a manufacturing area probably because of its close proximity to Perry Creek and the water source and so it does have a lot of historic buildings left on the street probably from the late 1800's to the early 1900's," says Jill Wanderscheid, Supervisor for Sioux City's Neighborhood Services.
Structures the city wants to save and because the street is still packed full of businesses, planners think it's a worthy $4.2 million investment.
The first half of the project will replace the rundown sidewalks and the street in the summer of 2014. Then comes the beautification.
"We would like to do some special things to the sidewalks and to the right of way to make it more pedestrian friendly, make it more lively. Maybe adding some bike lanes, or some special artistic planters or benches," says Wanderscheid.
"They renovated Hamilton they worked on Pierce Street and Greenville. So now it's time for West 7th," says Peggy La, Owner of Hong Kong Market on West 7th.
But La is concerned about construction.
"It's going to slow our businesses down but we're going to have to find another way, another route for our customers to come into our store," says La.
And the owner of Kollman Appliance agrees.
"I'm cautiously excited. I hope it all works out the way it's supposed to. If our sales drop into the sewer during this time than I wont be excited about that," says John Kollman.
The city is holding a public meeting March 12th, 2013 to talk about the project.
The meeting starts at 3 PM and will be held at the Girls Inc. 500 Main St Sioux City, IA 51103.