By: John Genovese, abc15
GLENDALE, AZ - Glendale is working to add a modern twist to an area that dates back to the 1800s.
"Downtown has the full attention of the council and the staff," said Council Jamie Aldama, who is helping lead the effort.
Last month, the Chamber of Commerce hired a Downtown Manager to work as a liaison between business owners and the city. An entertainment district was established earlier this year, allowing bars and liquor stores to open on a case-by-case basis near churches and schools -- and construction is underway to make a second alleyway more pedestrian friendly, with brick walkways, benches and lighting.
"What we were looking for is a nightlife," Aldama said, who added those efforts are already paying off with new restaurants opening in the area.
"I'm hoping that it's just going to explode," said Lisa Dowd, owner of A Shot of Java coffee shop. Dowd believes to lure in the next generation of shoppers and visitors the downtown area needs more diversity.
"We need different businesses -- not a lot of the same businesses," she said.
A challenge has been getting past the "nine to five" mentality, she said.