Over the last few months downtown Spokane has been getting a makeover, from a community cleaning day to improvements at the railroad overpass and improving the city's gateways in an effort to make the city more welcoming and inviting.
Seven months ago, in the dead of winter, the underbelly of I-90 was a tent city filled with homeless people, trash and vandalism. But now there has been a stark transformation of that particular parcel of downtown real estate.
"We've put in some flowers and taken off much of the overgrown brush," Mayor David Condon said, talking about some of the improvements to the area.
That corridor is one of the main gateways to the city and now it greets people to town with colorful landscaping and a fresh new coat of red paint. This is just one area the city has cleaned up. Another one is the railroad overpass that cuts across downtown. A fresh two-tone coat of paint did wonders to improve its look.
Just ask Gretchen Renz, who works at Bernardo Wills Architects just south of the Jefferson railroad viaduct.
"There is no glass and people move through, they are not staying under there, I don't see the mess, I don't see the filth," she said.
Renz admits this used to be a mess but so far, so good. She does have some paint just in case she needs to patch things up.
"I've only had to use it once," she said. "I've been really impressed."
Renz isn't the only one involved in the downtown clean-up. Back in April 200 volunteers rolled up their sleeves to spruce up Spokane in the city's 'Cleaning from the core' event. Mayor Condon said the clean-up isn't done yet, rather it’s a work in progress.
"We do need to maintain these and make sure there is constant vigilance at them," Condon said.