Henderson business owners work to revitalize historic Water Street District

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Henderson business owners and neighbors gathered for a monthly mixer along Water Street Wednesday to work on the district’s ultimate revitalization.

The Water Street District Business Association hosted the event at Water Street Pizzeria, complete with food, drinks and karaoke. 

“It’s quiet,” Water Street business owner Mikel Conrad said. “It’s quaint, everyone knows everybody.”

Conrad also spoke of his time growing up in the area, as swaying street signs surround each friendly smile. Age old architecture lines the sidewalks that hold Henderson’s sparkling history.

“Everyone who comes down here on Water Street,” Water Street Pizzeria owner James Hawkins said. “They become family.”

Water Street dates to the mid 1940’s, as the city’s first main stretch during World War II. The city of Henderson was later incorporated in 1953. 

“Water street has always been the nucleus for Henderson,” Conrad said of the area. “The parades, the parties, the events, the atmosphere they have down here.”

Now as casinos, bars, and pizza joints head through the 21st century, business owners came to discuss the future while keeping an emphasis on exposure. 

“They’ve seen the downfall and now this is a huge opportunity,” Alternative Board member Kevin Hernandez said of the street’s future. “With the emphasis being on water street to revitalize it.”

People, who attended Wednesday’s event, hope their ideas can encourage others to open up shop and take advantage of all the unique charm.

“Just a powerful group of people that come together,” Conrad said. “To network, to influence, and our goal is to make Water Street a destination.”

Many believe there’s strength in numbers, so Water Street can continue its journey for many generations to come. 

“All we gotta do is hang tough,” Hawkins added about the process. “Let people know we want them to be family too.”

Business owners told 8 News Now a repaving project is underway along Water Street. Quite a few “coming soon” signs were also posted on vacant building.

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