"Absolutely, I think it's wonderful," Toast owner Kelly Cotter said.
Cotter can't keep up. Her restaurant has only been open for 7 months, and the line is out the door during lunch. She says business is a little slow at night but is optimistic it will pick up.
City leaders hope the recent naming of downtown /*Durham*/ as one of the top 15 /*Up-and-Coming Neighborhoods*/ in the country will pick up new residents and more business owners.
"A lot of midsize urban cities like the Durhams of the world are starting to see the revitalizations like the larger cities the Philladelphias, the New Yorks," Downtown Durham, Inc. President Bill Kalkhof said. "American Tobacco is probably the catalytic project downtown. The new ballpark, the new theater, Durham Central Park, West Village, the mixed use developments."
Downtown resident Quadiriah McCulough was not sure when she began working and living in downtown.
"I thought it was very dangerous place to live, but it's really great," McCulough said.
Kalkhof said that's often a first reaction until people get familiar with the area and begin walking everywhere. "They realize it is very safe and its a cool place to be."
With $1 billion invested in the area, Durham plans to continue projects despite the economic downturn hitting some other cities.