Some shops and restaurants at the new Seaboard Station complex off Peace Street have already opened. A grocery store, hardware store and health club will open soon.
"It's some of the basic amenities downtown has been missing out on, and I think it's going to draw more people to the downtown area," said leasing director Ty Thomas.
The stores at Seaboard Station are all locally owned. A local developer spent $10 million for the renovations.
After 10 years at Cameron Village, Cheryl Fraser moved her clothing boutique to Seaboard. Her rent went down by nearly half, but she said that wasn't the main reason for the move to the north end of downtown.
"I love the old warehouse feeling," said Fraser. "I love that it's a building from the late 1940s, early 1950s. So it just feels perfect."
Seaboard Station has 100,000 square feet of warehouse space. About 85 percent of it is already leased. A new grocery store is a big part of that. It will offer home delivery to downtown residents.
Commercial real estate advisor William Allen said Seaboard is a start for retail and support services downtown, but it's still not enough. As more people move in, he predicted, there will be more need for services in the heart of downtown.
"You are going to have a population downtown that's going to demand it," said Allen.
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