CENTERVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) – Plans to transform Centerville into a dining and entertainment destination in the Miami Valley are moving forward. Several new restaurants in Uptown Centerville are expected to open as early as this spring.

Patrick Beckel owns Beckel’s Humidor and Beckel Insurance in Centerville. He is one of the business owners that help spearhead the Uptown Centerville development project.

“To me as a business owner, I love it,” Beckel said. “It brings people down here to my businesses and you get to see all the incredible things that maybe you just drove by every day.”

Beckel said in the two years his cigar shop’s been located uptown, he’s noticed the potential this area has.

“We always felt we were a little behind Springboro, a little behind Miamisburg, we said we need to catch up,” Beckel said.

City of Centerville leaders are working to make Uptown Centerville a destination for people traveling into the city, and the residents who already live or work there. Plans include new restaurants, new businesses, entertainment spaces, improved walkability and reduced traffic.

“When you work in Centerville, you have to have a place to to be able to for entertainment, but also to feed yourself through the lunch hour, through the dinner hour, we think we’re providing that,” Centerville City Manager Wayne Davis said.

Three new restaurants are already getting closer to completion.

Manna, which has the same owner as Salar in the Oregon District, plans on opening in just a few weeks. Agave and Rye, a taco and tequila restaurant, is expected to open this summer. Work is also moving along on the Brunch Pub.

With so much new development, the city’s first priority is parking.

The city plans to construct a connected public parking lot behind businesses on the north side of West Franklin Street during phase one. The city will also construct a public parking lot at 98 West Franklin Street.

“It’s one of the challenges that we’ve encountered up in Uptown, but we are working, again, diligently towards getting that accomplished,” Davis said.

While moving forward with the new, the city still plans to preserve the historic buildings that line the streets.

Beckel said these buildings are hard to maintain, but a booming Uptown district could be key to keeping these businesses open.

“For businesses to survive in buildings like these, they’ve got to have amazing things, and these businesses really do,” Beckel said.

The city expects to start work on the parking lot projects this spring, and to have them completed sometime this year.