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Speedway revitalization has town booming as racing popularity grows

Posted: 5:21 PM, May 06, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-06 17:52:08-04
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INDIANAPOLIS — The countdown to the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 is on — but first, May starts with the Indy Car Grand Prix.

On Main Street in Speedway, Tacos and Tequila is open for business.

"See, our tacos aren't fancy, but basic tacos are the best," Gerardo Rios, owner of Tacos and Tequila on Main, said.

It's a busy time during race month.

"This is May, this is our big month and the race fans are welcome!" Rios said.

Speedway is booming. The town's development team says there's almost $60 million slated for expansions and construction this year. On top of that, store owners are seeing a lot more foot traffic.

"We have a lot of customers and people walking by with their dogs," Rios said.

With the new luxury apartments and construction of the Hilton Tapestry Hotel, Leo's Barber Shop says things are changing big time.

"We're excited about it, it just means more business for us," Shawn Leo, Leo's Barbershop owner, said. "With the apartments going up and the hotel on the corner, and all that stuff, so it'll be good for all of us I think."

The traffic creates more revenue for the shops.

"Business has definitely grown, we've probably tripled our business," Leo said.

Efforts to revitalize the area Speedway isn't a new concept. Over the past eight years, developers have invested more than $77 million into new properties in Speedway. Creating more than 400 new jobs and building over one million square feet of new space.

"It was the main drag when it all first started, they just kind of got away from it," Leo said. "Now they're putting everything back into it right down here and it's nice, it's real nice."

The Hilton Tapestry Hotel will have 126 rooms and is slated to open April 2020.