NORFOLK, Neb. -- After evolving over the last decade, even more changes are coming to downtown Norfolk. 

The city was awarded $1.1 million in community financing funds as well as receiving a $400,000 grant for Downtown Revitalization. 

These funds will add even more enhancements in the coming years. 

“People are dying to have something different to do and I think the stakeholders, especially downtown, have answered that call,” Alder said.

Norfolk’s Economic Development Director, Candice Alder, said the funds will go straight into revitalization efforts. 

“To see people spilling out into the sidewalks it added a new energy, a new movement in the downtown,” Alder said. “And so I would say that was a pretty important component.”

“We want our downtown to be the place we can walk with our strollers, and our dogs and get our coffee in the morning, and enjoy the sense of community that the downtown brings,” Renter said.

With all the new changes and improvements coming to downtown, it’s worth taking a look at the progress Norfolk has made over the last decade.

“I would say, yeah, in 2012 it was, from what I could see, not certainly not what the downtown you see today,” Alder said. 

“We found that the downtown was just lacking traffic, " said Amy Renter, co-owner of Magnolias. “It was essentially turning into a ghost town."

In 2015, downtown revitalization planning received a handful of grants from the state of Nebraska with the purpose of downtown development. 

“So with the money available, we were able to use that revitalization program and the facade grant money to redevelop the extra of our building,” Renter said. “It gave instant character which helps make my company more unique.”

The money helped improve exteriors, fund Riverpoint Square and enhance revitalization efforts. 

“I think it's been just a great tool for bringing people together and bringing people to the downtown,” Alder said.

After a decade of transformation, a new vibrant scenery has graced the downtown area.

“I think the character of the downtown and the history of what it had been coming back again,” Renter said. “Because along with the look of the history, you get the feeling of the community and the sense of community that the historic area brings to our downtown.” 

Thanks to the Nebraska Department of Downtown Revitalization, more changes will soon be coming to downtown Norfolk.