Many in Las Cruces feel downtown is finally on the path to becoming the life of the city.
Main Street is open to car traffic after 43 years, and soon Las Crucens will be able to live downtown in a brand new apartment complex.
The lot on the corner of Alameda Boulevard and Court Avenue is just an empty dirt lot. In a year, developers hope it will be the Lofts At Alameda.
City officials and downtown business owners hope that construction will spread throughout the area and bring it back to life.
"Every time there's been a section of the street opened, there's been this excitement," said Mike Beckett, who owns Coa's Bookstore in downtown.
A newly reopened Main Street, a brand new Museum of Nature and Science, and soon an urban apartment complex. The formula for a busy downtown?
"I really feel this is going to be the place to be. All of Las Cruces can be proud of it. When people visit you can bring them here. There's restaurants opening up. There's people looking into housing. There's all sorts of stuff that's happening," Beckett told ABC-7.
The Lofts At Alameda will be a three-story apartment complex with 38 one- and two-bedroom apartments.
One of the owners, John Hummer, described them as affordable but nice.
One-bedroom, one-bath apartments will start at $715 a month and two-bedroom, two-baths will start at $840.
Developers also hope to have a small coffee shop in the complex.
Several downtown business owners including Beckett are thrilled at the prospect of it.
"I'm super excited. That is what makes downtowns alive past 5 o'clock is if people live nearby or in downtown," Beckett said.
The new apartments will be within walking distance from Main Street.
"These lofts are going to represent a culmination of a lot of things, primarily a place to live. Then, of course, you'll have more businesses move in and then you'll have more apartments. It's just a ripple effect, so we're really excited about it," said Mayor Ken Miyagishima.
Beckett hopes eventually downtown will be busy enough to warrant his store and others in the area staying open late.
"You'll be able to walk out of the theater and say, 'Let's get a cup of coffee or go to the bookstore' or whatever. There's all sorts of things that are starting to happen, so very, very exciting time," he said.
What's next in the transformation of downtown Las Cruces?
"We're looking at various things to do. One of them could be a parking garage or a town square. No baseball stadium yet. Maybe sometime in the future. I'm just kidding," Miyagishima said.
Developers expect the apartments to be completed by fall of 2013. They hope the apartments will be successful enough for them to build similar complexes all around the downtown area.