Business owner has faith as city works to improve Jacobsville

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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT)– The City of Evansville is working to transform the Jacobsville neighborhood, making it more family friendly. One business owner says seeing North Main Street improve is one of the reason she is sticking around, despite several challenges.

Gayla Bell has been running her bakery in Jacobsville on North Main Street for nearly seven years.

“We got a robbed a couple of times within two weeks,” said Gayla Bell, owner of GaylaCake. “That was a devastating blow both times.”

Bell says even though the city is trying to transform this part of town, she wouldn’t want to leave her northside neighborhood.

“There’s been some crime, but the good outweighs the bad completely in Jacobsville,” said Bell. She’s stuck it out in the Promise Zone, choosing not to throw in the towel after being robbed or not being able to use the front door as construction crews built a walking trail.

“But we continued to grow during all of that and then of course as things are steady, then COVID hits,” Bell explained. She contributes her success to her neighbor’s support. “Once I got to know the community and the community started supporting me, I determined when I needed to move I was going to stay. I was going to do everything I could to stay in this area.”

As business ramped up, Bell eventually moved her bakery to a larger building on North Main Street. She and her daughter both enjoy living in the Promise Zone and they see hope for a part of town some gave up on years ago.

“Huge things are coming and so I just wanted to stay and be a part of all of that,” said Bell. A new pool, shops, and apartments are a few of the projects in the works.

The Deaconess Aquatic Center is being built in the area. The same developers building the new apartment complex on North Main will also have space for new shops.

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(This story was originally published on Aug. 25, 2020)

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