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Downtown Crowley gets a facelift - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Downtown Crowley gets a facelift

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Driving in downtown Crowley, you might notice some familiar buildings looking new again.

Over the past several years, about 14 buildings have been revitalized and repurposed, bringing in new businesses.

 "We want to bring people back to downtown Crowley. We want people to live and shop in downtown Crowley, walk our beautiful streets and live in apartments on the main street," said LJ Guilen.

Guilen owns several buildings and businesses downtown and decided to live in one of the refurbished buildings with his wife.

"I can walk to work, walk to church, walk to the post office, walk across the street and help my daughter out at the opera house," said Guilen, whose properties have been refurbished in recent years.

There are memories built in these buildings, some have been around for more than a century.

"These businesses weren't here before and they might have been somewhere else. Bringing these buildings back to life will bring the city of Crowley back to life also," said Edmund Habetz, a general contractor who has renovated most of the old buildings.

The makeover has given the buildings a new purpose without taking away their history.

"And I remember as a kid growing up in Downtown Crowley back in the 60's, the downtown area was really the heart o the city of Crowley and then through the 70's, 80's, 90's all the businesses moved out and this became like a ghost town," said Habetz.

But all of this did not happen in the blink of an eye.

"We did the theatre first and the Ford building, now the other buildings are being revitalized. It's a process and it takes time, you don't do it overnight and I can see this process is going to take 20 years but it will be beautiful. Will I see the completion? Probably not," said Guilen who says this project is not for the present but for the future of Crowley.

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