Downtown Salem going through changes for community

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SALEM (WSLS 10) - A lot of changes are happening in Salem as part of a downtown plan.

Several businesses are expanding or moving. All Sports Cafe is moving across the street and doubling in size.

"We've just outgrown the space and business has been growing really fast the past three to four years," said Jeremiah Gray, the general manager of the restaurant.

Other businesses are making changes too.

Countryside Classics is moving and O'Brien Meats just finished its expansion.

The downtown plan is part of a community-driven effort to define Salem's future and started two years ago this fall.

The city received 3,400 comments about downtown Salem and businesses got a better idea of what people wanted.

"I think Salem has a great downtown and downtown creates Salem's identity and this is about having the kind of downtown Salem deserves," said Salem City Planner Benjamin Tripp.

The city of Salem received grants to help pay for a majority of improvements.

The next step in the plan is engineering and the city will be looking at street scape, utilities, and greenery.

Most of that construction will happen in a year.