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PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – Big plans to revitalize historic downtown Plano will make it more accessible and appealing. It’s an early Christmas present of sorts for property owners such as Mona Crider.

“We are thrilled and so excited that this is coming,” said Crider, owner of Lafoofaraw.

Newly released graphics show a concert stage next to the strip, which is more than 130 years old. A new pedestrian and bike trail will connect it to the rest of the city. Plans to convert eyesore buildings into parking lots and retail space are scheduled. Developers will hide power poles located on 15th St. and widen roads.

There are also plans for 170 more apartments and a new housing development, which will likely bring in more customers to Urban Crust Owner, Bonnie Shea’s restaurant.

“This is the biggest development that they’ve ever seen,” said Shea. “Probably since they started trading mules back in the early 1900s.”

Once the community’s heartbeat, Plano’s downtown is one of the oldest in North Texas still preserved.

Deputy City Manager Frank Turner said he wants to restore that ‘center of town’ feeling with residents.

“Retailing migrated out to the shopping centers shopping malls and downtown became less important to the commerce of the city and now it’s returning,” said Turner.

Some of the proposed changes are already underway. The city council is expected to approve more next week.

Plano is using about $48 million in property tax money set aside during the last 15 years to pay for the plan.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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