“It hurt us a lot. People can’t come in here,” Baggett said. “Oh, Lordy, it’s been going on Elm Street for two or three years now. “
Blake Demaria continues his family’s barbecue tradition at 1000 Elm Ave., Tony Demaria’s B-Que bar. Customers are taking a more roundabout route than before, but Elm Avenue is smooth as glass up front and the restaurant has gotten a new alleyway from the deal, Demaria said.
Demaria said he had mixed emotions about the impact of roadworks on businesses. He said things are looking better now that crews and equipment have moved close to his front door. Improvements along Elm Avenue started so long ago that he’s struggling to remember what the old street looked like, he said.
“It’s a double-edged sword,” Demaria said. “That’s good. It has to happen for the sake of Elm Street. But who wants to come in, spend the money on something in the middle of a road closure? I don’t think we’ll see the growth of the zone until it’s done. Like I said, it’s got to happen, and I’m glad they’re finally doing it. It takes so long to do it. “
Jordan Beard, along with Reid Peevey Commercial Real Estate Company, lists several properties along the 600 block of Elm Avenue. He said interest remains intense.
“I take several calls a week about Elm Street,” Beard said. “I guess the work affects local businesses, but there is a need to grow Waco in this area. I list what I consider to be beautiful buildings, some dating from the 1800s. I hope tenants will be interested. to the relaunch of Elm Street.