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Downtown Woodland Revitalization Has Developers, Businesses Excited For Future

WOODLAND (CBS13) — Private developers and business owners are hoping to cash in on a restoration craze in Downtown Woodland.

Juan Barajas is the owner of Savory Cafe in Woodland, which has been in business for about a year. It's hard for him to contain his excitement about the slow transformation of Main Street.

"Don't even get me started," he said.

Main Street is a combination of historic buildings from the 1930s revitalized with new cash from developers.

"You can walk across Woodland and within 10 minutes, I can show you about seven projects that are going on right now as we speak," he said.

Woodland Community Development Director Ken Hiatt says several major star projects are lining up on Main Street, including a new courthouse, a new 81-room hotel that's in the planning stages, a music hall venue and plenty of retail and restaurants.

"You can feel an energy in Woodland," Barajas said.

But who is paying for the city's infrastructure upgrades to lure the developers?

"The city over the last five years have put in close to $3.5 million into streetscapes and infrastructure improvements and leveraged with some state funds," Hiatt said.

Hoping to get a return on their investment with jobs and revenue, city and state taxpayers have spent about $5 million on Woodland.

Resident Erick St. John believes his family's tax dollars are worth it.

"It's nice for the community especially to see the stores on Main Street not be vacant," he said.

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