Officials kick off East End Street Fest with unveiling of new esplanade

HOUSTON - A multi-million dollar project to revitalize a historic Houston neighborhood is complete.  Improvements were made to Houston's East End community, and Friday the finished project was revealed.

The shops, eateries and landscaping is bringing new life to this community and the new esplanade is the crown jewel. The design not only celebrates the culture of the East End, it will also be used as a focal point to attract vendors and tourists to this area.

"I think it's a beautiful thing that they've done here. It's good for the community and it's very attractive," said resident Helen Perez.

Over the last 50 years, Perez has seen a lot of changes to the East End. On Friday, the change she sees on Navigation Boulevard near downtown makes her very happy.

"It's nice that they thought about the people in the community," she said.

The three block long esplanade has been years in the making and now it is officially open for business. The more than $5 million project is meant tie one of Houston's historic neighborhoods together, while breathing new life into the community.

"We're able to have free standing booths for people to sell their goods and services. Really make it a livable space where people can walk," said Frances Castaneda Dyess with the East End Chamber of Commerce.

"Concentrate on this three block area of Navigation Blvd. and turn that into kind of a catalyst for redevelopment of the whole area," said Jim Hill with Civic Design Associates.

The event was attended by state and congressional leaders. But no one was more happy to see the new park benches and sculptures mixing with more than 100 year old oak trees than Perez.

"It's good to see something happening in this part of town," Perez said.

And the esplanade will get a proper christening when the second annual East End Street Fest runs Saturday from 11am to 8pm.

Click here more information on the East End Street Fest.

Copyright 2013 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.