The predictable East Sprague is still there. A street that, for some, is synonymous with prostitution. But businesses along the street say that reputation is fading and with millions on its way from the city the neighborhood is on its way to revitalization.
The East Sprague you think you know it's Jim Hanley's East Sprague.
"It's a stigma, it's not a reality," Hanley said.
His family business, Tin Roof, a furniture and home décor shop, has been along the avenue since 1945.
"I've been here my entire life and I have never had a problem with anybody," Hanley declared.
As co-founder of the East Sprague Business Association and chair of the East Central Steering Committee, Hanley saw what a little faith and money can do for a neighborhood. He saw what it did for South Perry.
Now, the City Council is vowing up to $5 Million for East Spokane.
"I think we have more businesses, more traffic, more people moving around and that reputation will dissolve right in front of you," Hanley said.
Helping dissolve that reputation further is Gillian Speight. Her business, Spokane Cheesecake, opens Saturday.
"We do all the baking ourselves, everything is from scratch including our crust," Speight said.
Their shop is right under a shiny, new 37-unit apartment complex on East Sprague.
"It's probably going to take a lot of work, but if we have the time, the patience and get the individuals that are willing to work with the community that's already here it will pay off in the long run," Speight said.
The money will pay for new sidewalks, possibly tree-lined streets and more street lamps. The money will also help revitalize the abandoned or dilapidated homes nearby.
"If you're structures around a business district don't have the housing structures that are up to par then you've gotta improve the housing stock as well to get that retail business thriving," City Council President Ben Stuckart said.
Stuckart helped get the East Spokane improvement project going.
"You're not going to really see a huge jump in economic development until five to ten years after you invest," Stuckart said.
Planning will begin in 2014 and, he says, construction will start in 2015.