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Downtown mural kicks off local business owner’s revitalization vision
Putting paintbrush to canvas, 14-year old Jaelyn DeLeon of Devine has begun work on an interactive mural on the former Carter and Sons building in downtown Pearsall this month, beginning a revialization project that owners of the location are hoping will benefit the community.
Business owners Eduardo Sanchez and Sylvia Valle, who purchased the building along with the old, neighboring Paisano Motel a year ago, hope that the artwork is the beginning of a revitalization of Pearsall’s downtown district.
“Downtown Pearsall has been steadily rebuilding back to its glory,” Sanchez said. “The goal of this mural is to assist in the continuation of rebuilding and revitalizing the downtown district. Our hope is that this mural creates another must-see attraction in our community, while increasing community pride and ultimately drawing foot traffic to our downtown.
“We believe vibrant arts and a cultural environment is critical to enhancing the quality of life and driving economic development while nurturing a positive view of the community among residents and visitors alike. The mission of the mural is to cultivate a community of arts and culture and we believe a community enriched in arts and culture will attract, retain and engage residents.”
Sanchez said the impact of the pandemic over the last two years has hampered efforts in reopening the building as well as the former Paisano Motel location.
“When COVID hit it really set us back,” he said. “Now with things trending the way they are, hopefully we can go into our next phase of filling lease spaces.”
Sanchez said his efforts will begin with a concept he is calling “Markets on Oak” at the Carter and Sons building. He is hoping to rent spaces to vendors inside the building in a style similar to Market Days.
“Maybe we can do a Market Days on a monthy basis,” he said. “I’d also like to be able to do something like a community market in the parking lot, as well.”
Sanchez also said that he’s been approached with inquiries at the Paisano Motel building.
“Suprisingly we’ve been approached by several out of town businesses looking to come in,” he said. “We’re trying to keep it local, though.”
The business owner said that the mural, however, is the kickoff to what he hopes is a rejuvenation to downtown Pearsall.
“I’ve got a big wall along the alleyway as well that maybe we can liven up,” Sanchez said. “It would be nice to add another mural there to bring in people and just increase foot traffic for all businesses in the downtown area.”
“The mural provides an avenue for our community to continue to make Pearsall the place to live, work, learn and play, as well as an opportunity to enhance quality of life and support economic development for all businesses. It has an engaging element, inviting residents and visitors to take pictures in front of the mural and celebrate the heart of our community and it creates an opportunity for an increased focus on community pride, beautification and creative placemaking.”