WACO, Texas — Downtown business owners are celebrating this week after it was announced that Waco’s 7th Street Plaza is here to stay, at least until the end of the year.
Plans called for the pedestrian space to be a temporary summer project, but the city recently approved an extension.
Right down the street from the seventh street plaza, the recently opened Stay Classy Wine and Cocktail Bar is reaping the benefits of the project.
“I see the bump every single time they have an event, and honestly I love sneaking away and going and seeing the events,” said Katie Selman-Green, owner of Stay Classy.
Jeff Strong brought his family downtown Friday night to check out the plaza and its 90s Hip Pop Night. Afterward, they planned to head local businesses ready for new customers.
“After this ends, we’re gonna go grab an after hours drink or something one of the food trucks may not offer," Strong said.
City Center Waco said the goal is getting people downtown. Businesses say it's working.
“That to us says—Literally the reason we created this, to bring people downtown, is having an effect,” said Wendy Gragg, director of communications for City Center Waco.
From art to music, the plaza has become a cultural hotspot for the city. The project is even nominated for the Texas Downtown Association's Resiliency Award. Now, it's here for a little bit longer.
“We’re so excited that it’s gonna be through the end of the year and really, honestly, I hope it becomes a permanent thing,” Green said.
City Center Waco is using the opportunity to plan more events and clean things up after a long summer.
While there are no plans for the plaza to stay after the new year, City Center Waco is hopeful that it may become a permanent part of downtown.