Tacoma, Wash. -- Once known for its crime and gritty exterior, the Hilltop neighborhood in Tacoma has been working toward positive change. After years of planning, the City of Tacoma passed an ordinance for a plan of action.
A Comprehensive Plan of the Hilltop Subarea Plan has been in the works for years, which included public meetings and the gathering of surveys. Tuesday, that plan was adopted. City leaders say once approved, it's their way of saying they're committed to real change on the Hilltop.
As a salesman at Mr. Mac's clothing store in Tacoma's Hilltop Business District, Keith Gist knows a thing or two about fashion.
"I love serving people and helping them match and coordinate colors and making them look good," said Gist.
However, it isn't just the fashion that has changed over the years, so has the Hilltop neighborhood where Mr. Mac has been in business for decades. Mr. Mac himself, Morris McCollum, remembers when crime and gangs took over his neighborhood.
"So we've had the struggle of bringing people back into the area," said McCollum.
It's the kind of struggle the City of Tacoma has been working for years to overcome.
"It went through its struggles but it has gone through an amazing surgence with new restaurants and new development coming in," said Brian Boudet, with the City of Tacoma's planning division.
Plans are already underway to turn a historic building on Martin Luther King Way into apartments, retail and a restaurant and down the road, there are hopes of adding more trees and cleaning up the area.
"All of that development will be great for that area," said Gist.
The developer Kevin Grossman wants to restore the buildings all the while keeping the character the same.
Characters like 87-year-old Mr. Mac, who have been waiting a long time for growth to come in style.
"It's going to continue to get better; I wish I was a little younger to enjoy it," said McCollum.
This comprehensive plan includes a guide for development and public transportation. While the comprehensive plan is expected to pass, there could be added amendments.