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Business working to revitalize Capitol Hill area

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OKLAHOMA CITY - An Oklahoma company is working to revitalize the Capitol Hill area of Oklahoma City.

“This down here I really wish people would come back and see because if you talk to people 70 and 80-years-old, this is where all began," Brett Fisher, owner of Dean’s Drive-Thru Pawn Shop, said.

Fisher's store opened almost 50 years ago. He's seen businesses come and go over the years.

"Everybody would say, 'Oh, where's your business? And I'd say 'Capitol Hill.' 'Oh that's a pretty rough area,' and no, it's not," Fisher said.

A partnership with Fowler Dodge is hoping to change that perception through events. It’s an effort Fowler is familiar with after being the main sponsor for H&8th in Midtown and events in the Plaza District. Those districts are now thriving.

"We don't want to try and replicate anything, but we really want to add to what's already there," Jon Fowler, with Fowler Holding Company, said.

Theatres, J.C. Penney and John A. Brown department stores used to keep the Capitol Hill area, near S.W. 25th between Walker and Shields, a busy district.

Over the years, it's seen decay.

Since 1997, $14.8 million has gone into renovating the area.

"It's the broken glass syndrome. When you repair windows, and you put up signs, when you plant trees and flowers, and you bring life back then you've changed the neighborhood."

District leaders are hoping the renovation of the Oklahoma Opry, as well as the upcoming Oklahoma City Community College facility will help revitalize the area and create more community diversity.

Marty Dillon recently bought the old Oklahoma Opry theater.

"The property is in an historic district, and we plan to have it recognized as such. Future plans? No promises yet, but this is a great little part of OKC, and it will shine again," he told KFOR.

For more information on upcoming events, visit the Historic Capitol Hill website.

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