It wasn't that long ago that many right here in the Twin Cities were writing off downtown Texarkana.
And even a few years ago, it looked like they might have a point.
All the commercial growth seemed to be north of Interstate 30. Many of downtown's old buildings were empty and in disrepair — some literally falling apart.
But there has been a comeback of sorts. Some visionaries are seeing opportunity where others only saw ruin.
Over the past several years, we have seen historic buildings revitalized for new purposes. And new businesses have opened in the historic heart of the two Texarkanas. We're happy to say residents and visitors are supporting them, even as the COVID-19 pandemic has put a damper on things.
Perhaps the most successful have been the eating and drinking establishments. Recognizing this, in 2019 the Texarkana Arkansas Board of Directors approved an "entertainment zone" on their side of the state line downtown to make it easier for fun-seekers to carry a beer or cocktail as they walk from one place to the next and make selling adult beverages at outdoor festivals and events a bit less legally complicated.
Now it looks like the Texas-side City Council will be doing the same thing. In our view, it's a good idea. Dining and nightlife are among the best opportunities for new life in our old downtown. In our view, an entertainment district in both states will help that effort.