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Revitalizing Downtown Midland

The energy boom has certainly been bringing money into the Permian Basin, but some say there's not enough going on in downtown Midland.

MIDLAND -- The energy boom has certainly been bringing money into the Permian Basin, but some say there's not enough going on in downtown Midland.

But Midland city councilman John James says not to worry; Big things are coming.

"Downtowns are like the concept of malls and shopping centers," James said. "The more stores you have together, the more everybody really benefits."

James says a new development, the Wall Street Lofts, could be the spark that ignites the fire downtown.

"Needless to say it's pretty exciting that at some point next year we'll have 150 people who actually live downtown, that probably work downtown, and will actually be playing downtown. So that's pretty cool," James said.

The new apartments will be the first built in downtown Midland in over 40 years.

James says it will be a big boost to small businesses like Bourbon Street, a bar located just next door.

Bourbon Street is a low key, family owned bar.

The owner, known simply as Moose, has owned the building for a while.

But since he converted it into a bar two years ago, he says his business has grown, thanks in part to the oil boom.

"It picked up quite a bit. When it opened, I took a chance. I didn't know what was going to happen, but now my business is picking up," Moose said.

James says the businesses next to the Wall Street Lofts will get a built in customer base when they're completed.

Moose is as excited as anyone about the development.

"It should help me a lot. Business is going to pick up real good then," Moose said.

James says in the future, downtown Midland will be a much different place.

As he says, big things are coming, and businesses like bourbon street could pop up all over the place.

"I think in 10 or 15 years downtown will be the hub of not only Midland, not only the region that is close to Midland, but really of the Permian Basin," James said.



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