Kelly Square renovations underway in downtown Sherman

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SHERMAN, TEXAS -- The Kelly Square marquee reads, "Changes are happening;" a hint at the renovations to come.

"We're going to knock out the wall that's directly behind us and go a little bit further back," Sandi Key, owner of Sandi's Boutique, said.

Sandi's Boutique is expanding its business and Women's Gift Exchange is moving to the front of Kelly Square. Building owner Bob Minshew has more plans for the building, totaling about $60,000 in renovations.

"We've had over a hundred different businesses in there that have come and spent two to ten years, some businesses are still there, but we've had a lot of turnover," Minshew said.

Tonight, Sherman city council approved giving Minshew $12,000 in grant money toward the renovations. It would help him build an elevator, two balconies and make other improvements to Kelly Square.

"I would like to have more restaurants, more boutique shops, more people living above their shops," Minshew said.

"That's just going to enhance the opportunity for the businesses down here," Key said.

It's not just businesses inside Kelly Square that stand to benefit from these renovations; improvements to one downtown building enhances the whole streetscape.

"This town needs a little bit of makeup," Blue Door Cafe co-owner Hamid Bayatfar said.

Bayatfar grew up in Italy and now brings his passion for Mediterranean cuisine to downtown Sherman as co-owner of Blue Door Cafe. He too has a vision for the area.

"There was no Mediterranean restaurant in the city of Sherman and that's why I decided to come over here," Bayatfar said.

Minshew says he encourages that diversity and uniqueness in downtown Sherman.

"You have to stay up. You have to do things that keep it current and keep people coming there. If you don't, it can dry up and blow away," Minshew said.

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