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Business owners looking forward to city's shuffling

URBANA -- Some people are looking for a more exciting experience when coming downtown.
URBANA -- Some people are looking for a more exciting experience when coming downtown. It's seen a lot of changes recently.

Business owners say the reshuffling is a good thing and they're looking forward to what the future has to hold. They say the city is moving in the right direction; between businesses popping up and the recent street-scape project. Business owners like what they see.

The manager of Heel to Toe says he's been downtown for more than 25 years and the area has changed a lot, but so has the face of retail. That's why he hopes downtown continues adding to the experience with shopping, eating and entertainment, and maybe fewer offices.

The city is, in fact, looking to add more office space just down the road from downtown in the 200-block of Vine. City leaders are looking to develop it into a building with offices on the bottom and housing on top.

Officials say their goal is to continue capitalizing on the momentum they've seen downtown the past year. More people are choosing to live in cities instead of suburbs.

The Census Bureau says population is shifting to downtown areas. The trend is being driven by more young people delaying marriage. Many baby boomers reported wanting to live in the city as well.

The bureau compiled data from what it calls the country's "381 metro areas." Included on the list are these Illinois cities: Peoria, 137; Rockford, 148; Champaign, 191; Bloomington, 223; Decatur, 338.
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