SAN ANTONIO – More than $21 million has been pumped into redeveloping the Northeast Corridor along Perrin Beitel and Nacogdoches in the last two years.
The changes are already making some residents stop and shop.
For Chris and Sheila barry, new businesses are changing their habits.
"This is an area that we're in a lot because of the schools that are nearby, and it is very convenient now with the Walmart and (other) businesses here, so that we don't have to drive so far away," Sheila Barry said.
Business leaders along the Northeast Corridor met Friday morning at Oak Leaf Banquet Hall to discuss plans for even more improvement.
Oak Leaf owner Martin Cavazos believes cleaning up the area -- even with large chains -- will start a chain reaction.
"We need something like that," Cavazos said. "We've been here seven years, and I think it's a big plus for all kinds of business -- not just the banquet but all business."
The city is setting aside money for landscaping at Nacogdoches, Perrin Beitel and Thousand Oaks and a new transit center could go into an empty lot behind the nearby HEB.
Perrin Oaks Plaza has been one of the big targets for redevelopment in the area. Until recently, it was surrounded by a chainlink fence.
"I thought, 'Wow, I wonder what happened there,' because it's got covered walking and it looks like it's on a great road with lots of access, but for some reason, everyone left," said Chris Barry.
Barry said he is happy to see the blight he's noticed since moving to the area move toward redevelopment.
Another big project in the area will open later this year. Capitol Skymine, the nation's first for-profit carbon capture and utilization plant, will turn a percentage of the carbon dioxide emissions from the Capitol Cement plant on Nacogdoches into baking soda.
There will be 45 new permanent jobs at the Capitol Skymine plant.