Josh Giles, Carrollton’s development program manager, commended the city's special events offices for their ability to put together gatherings that draw lots of visitors downtown. 

Over the last 10 years, Carrollton has undergone several changes to become a more vibrant spot for visitors and residents to dine, shop and find entertainment.

Josh Giles, Carrollton’s development program manager, said a large piece of Downtown Carrollton’s development has been the addition of apartments, allowing residents to live in the downtown area. Around 1,300 units have been added over the last decade.

“That's been a huge driver for making Downtown an 18-hour neighborhood,” Giles said.

The addition of residential projects has become a driver for businesses to come into the area and cater to the residents who have moved downtown, Giles said.

Giles highlighted three key projects coming to Downtown Carrollton, including Pocket Sandwich Theatre, the addition of live-work spaces and Downtown’s new apartment building, LYV Broadway.

Pocket Sandwich Theatre

Pocket Sandwich Theatre is slated to be located at 1104 and 1106 South Elm Street, on the western side of Downtown.

“We're really excited that they chose downtown Carrollton as their new location,” Giles said. “We beat out some pretty stiff competition from around the metroplex, and it's a significant move from their previous location around Mockingbird and 75.”

Giles said the addition of Pocket Sandwich Theatre will be a perfect fit for Carrollton, filling the need for evening entertainment in the downtown area, in addition to the existing retail and restaurants.

“In a downtown, you've got several dinner offerings, and to keep folks lingering, you have entertainment,” he said. “This really fits the bill for high quality evening entertainment. Pocket Sandwich theatre has a renowned reputation. It's a full-time first-class operation.”

Live-work spaces

Another large addition to Downtown Carrollton is the series of  six live-work units.

Each of the spaces have been filled since they’ve been built. One space is occupied by Carrollton’s special events offices. The other five are small businesses including a boba tea bar, Pupcakes – a pet bakery, Bougie Boozy Bears – a custom confectionary store for special events, a local florist – Blooms of Brilliance and Cooking the Details, a kitchen store also offering small-scale cooking classes for residents.

“It really activated that whole street,” Giles said. “If you look at the before pictures, it's just bland, and now we have all this street-level activation. Those smaller units also allow these small business owners to step into a space with confidence.”

Giles said that some of the smaller businesses are already looking to expand into bigger spaces in the downtown area.

LYV Broadway

LYV Broadway, a 390-unit apartment building has also finished construction on the southern end of Downtown.

“When you bring in all the residential, you have all the surrounding retailers, businesses, grocers, everyone should benefit from downtown,” Giles said. “From a tax base perspective, this last project we had was valued at $85 million on the Dallas County Tax rolls. The land it was built on was appraised at around $1 million. It's a big return on investment. It's incredible to see that change.”

Other businesses have come into downtown, bringing more visitors form around the metroplex, including Texas Lumberjaxe Indoor Axe Throwing and the recent addition of Joe’s at Amici, which opened June 9.

“We're delighted,” Carolyn Benavides, owner of Joe’s Pizza said. "We've been in south Carrollton forever, and we'll continue our New York Style by the slice.”

Since Joe’s at Amici’s opening, Benavidez said her restaurant has been frequented by police officers and members of the fire department, as well as city officials.

Winston Henvey is the reporter for the Mesquite News, Coppell Gazette and The Leader serving Carrollton, Flower Mound and Lewisville. Email him with story suggestions at whenvey@starlocalmedia.com.

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