As the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center nears completion, city leaders are updating us on the proposed businesses set to completely change the look of the area. Right now, there could be two to three hotels in the works, plus a restaurant or bar. They have re-branded it the Sports and Entertainment District.
Big machines, crews and new construction line the area near the new events center. However, much of that is for the Russell Street project. Despite a clear view of this progress, Casa Del Rey owner Don Smith say he has not seen much for new buildings yet.
"I usually wait until they start digging, then we kind of know what's going - what's happening," Don Smith said.
He has seen a lot happen to this area in the 34 years this restaurant has been his bread and butter.
"I've been here since the Canaries stadium went in. The Convention Center went in," Don Smith said.
He is looking forward to more new neighbors, including the proposed hotel for Elmwood Golf Course.
"Right now, we're not ruling out the fall, but it does look more likely to happen in the spring," Darrin Smith, Director of Community Development, said.
Darrin Smith said the rest is still on the way, but there is no timeline for the other projects. He adds there is strong interest from national, regional and local developers to fill up some of this space.
"It's happening in the way we thought it would, but redevelopment takes time," Darrin Smith said.
Darrin said several businesses that are already in the area, including hotels, are planning on expanding. Up the road, you can see one of the first building projects slated for this summer. Crews are getting the land ready for a new Kum & Go at the corner of Minnesota Avenue and Russell Street. As for Don Smith, he said every little bit helps.
"Us businesses want more businesses. Like to see more hotels, restaurants. Helps us with the traffic," Don Smith said.