More than a dozen spectators from all walks of the Denison community witnessed the groundbreaking for the first new building to be built on Main Street in more than 30 years.

The city has been putting a lot of attention on Main Street in recent years with a host of incentives, grants and other programs centered on shining a spotlight on the city's efforts to revitalize the aging, historic downtown district. The new development is one of the first projects to utilize the city's recently passed construction incentive package that went into effect Oct. 1. The new building will be located at 614 West Main Street between Gold Star Finance and Denison Glass and Mirror.

“We are excited about building on Main Street,” Fmarr Real Estate owner Scott Marr said. “The new construction incentive package the city passed will help get real estate developers over the hump deciding to build or not to build. Denison is our home and we are happy to make a small contribution to Main Street. This 5,000 square foot building will feature custom office spaces on the ground floor. The second story will be high end lofts.”

Marr said the city does a good job sprucing up the downtown, and the new construction incentive package the city recently passed was a key factor in deciding to develop the location.

The company has owned the site for a number of years, and Marr said the original plan was to do a parking area. Once this incentive package came up and the business was looking to expand the decision was made to build.

“You are going to see more people move to Denison,” Marr said. “People want to see a more vibrant Main Street that people are putting money back into it. With the Fall Festival there are lots of things going on. Our community is one of the stronger communities in this area. We have a strong community and I think it is important we continue to improve Main Street.”

Denison Development Alliance Chairman David Spindle said it was an exciting time for downtown Denison.

“We have a very exciting announcement,” Spindle said. “We are honored to break ground on the first new building being constructed on Main Street in downtown. For the past 30 years there hasn't been new construction. If you look up and down Main Street you see a lot of renovation going on. A lot of money being spent, this is the first new construction taking place here on Main Street. We are very excited. The Marr building we're about to break ground on is a beautifully designed building that compliments Denison's downtown historic deal. It is a terrific addition to our historic downtown.”

Denison City Manager Jud Rex said downtown has been a priority for the city for a long time.

“Downtown is the heart of Denison,” Rex said. “Our heart is a live and well. It's thriving. Denison has made a serious of deliberate choices over the years to continue supporting and investing in the downtown. This year marks our 30th anniversary of being a part of the Main Street program. When the choice was made to become one of the first Texas cities to join that program, it represented a conscious decision to invest in our heart. Not just that year but all the subsequent years leading up to today.”

This new project is the first construction project under the new development incentive that went into effect Oct. 1.

Denison Main Street Director Donna Dow said the city is excited for all the investment going on around Main Street.

“We love celebrating downtown Denison,” Dow said. “It's a great project we're really looking forward to. We are just glad it is all in the downtown. We've got anything anybody would ever need. We're thankful for the Marr family for reinvesting in our downtown and continuing to make it so impressive.”

Are you excited for the construction of a new historic looking building in Denison's downtown district? Let Richard A. Todd know by sending email to rtodd@heralddemocrat.com. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter @RichardAToddHD.