Yakima's North 1st Street Revitalization Projects on Track - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima's North 1st Street Revitalization Projects on Track

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YAKIMA, WA.--The City of Yakima is working hard to turn a not so desirable part of town into the place to be.

Ask anyone walking around town, and they'll tell you North 1st Street in Yakima has built a bad reputation over the years.

"It had to be in the 40s and the 50s, 60s a very vibrant, robust street," said Tony O'Rourke, Yakima City Manager. "It certainly has fallen on harder times. Too many public safety issues out there, to many code violations."

"If you clean it up, I mean we'll have a lot less of those criminal looking types that most definitely will bring in a lot more customers," said Jay Youn, a chef at New York Teriyaki.

Much to business owners delight, plans for revitalizing North 1st Street are moving along. With the initial grant money already locked in place, Phase One is set to begin next spring. Road and sidewalk construction, extra lighting, as well as landscape improvements will start from the freeway ramps and stretch to "N" Street.

The city said they hope the beautification effort will make it more desirable for people to visit restaurants and shops in the area.

"Hopefully that will also help the businesses there, but also attract some new businesses who feel like we're making a commitment," said O'Rourke. "So therefore they can make a commitment."

"Oh it has lots of potential," said Youn. "I mean this is the main street for the whole city pretty much."

Workers at New York Teriyaki said they're happy the city is in their corner.

"Right now anything's better than nothing," said Youn. "Just to know that the city's being proactive making this place better. It's good to know."

The cost for Phase One is $2.7 million.

The second phase is slated to begin in 2017 from "N" Street to "H" Street costing about $3.5 million. The third and final phase will go from "H" street to Martin Luther King Boulevard costing roughly around $4 million. The money will come from state and federal grants.