By most all measures, things are picking up at Texas City’s 6th Street Revitalization District, a long-standing project to revitalize a blighted but historic area in the shadow of the city’s massive industrial plants, to create a business and entertainment zone for locals and visitors.

In what was once Texas City’s downtown, a strip that over the past century became a nearly abandoned commercial center, occupancy is up, the number of buildings bought, restored and ready to lease is up, parking spaces fill up in the middle of a weekday and merchants report foot traffic that’s keeping them busy.

Rigo’s, a bustling little café at the corner of 6th Street and Ninth Avenue, serves all homemade breakfasts and blue plate specials, no fast food, its owners proudly claim. Georgia Meyer Barzilay’s elegant Urban Gypsies home decor shop stands proudly across the street. And up and down the street, shop owners with OPEN signs in their windows busily peddle their wares.

It’s not at all what Galveston businessman Mike Bouvier of Hey Mikey’s Ice Cream saw the first time he went to 6th Street.

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