Dick Rosedale remembers a time in the 1980s when “you could roll a bowling ball” down Canal Street because of the lack of activity in the the city’s mainland downtown district.

While the business climate there has waxed and waned since then, it seemingly hit critical mass in June 2011 when Canal Street was pocked with empty storefronts — 17 of them, New Smyrna Beach officials tallied at the time.

But take a drive or walk down the burgeoning commercial boulevard now and such voids are hardly noticeable. Tony Otte, the city’s economic development director as well as the head of the recently expired 30-year Community Redevelopment Area that included Canal Street, said he counted only one vacancy during a recent drive.

Source: New Smyrna’s downtown district goes from drab to destination | News-JournalOnline.com
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