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Jun 9, 2013 8:01 PM by Erika Flores

Southside business owners working to makeover neighborhood

TUCSON - Local leaders and business owners are spearheading a movement to spruce up the image of a Southside neighborhood.

Business owners hope getting rid of eyesores will help bring more tourism to 12th Avenue.

There is graffiti on signs, buildings, trucks, dumpsters even canopies.

"They damage the canvas with the graffiti," said Rosario Palomares with El Ta' Comiendo.

There are littered lots and broken sidewalks.

"Here we've got concrete and we don't have nothing just dirt road here," said Benjamin Galaz, owner of BK Carne Asada and Hot Dogs.

The restaurant is on 12th Avenue near Irvington and is also a victim of tagging.

He said he wishes for a different 12th Avenue.

"If we keep working with our neighbors and with the city of Tucson, we can fix the look of our street," said Galaz.

The Southside of Tucson is known for its many Mexican restaurants, hot dog stands, bakeries, meat markets and tortillerias, but Galaz said tourists only make up five percent of his clientele.

Beautifying and promoting the area could bring in more.

"We need to make it as a concept," said Galaz.

Galaz and other businesses are working as a coalition with the city to make this a reality.

"Perfect. That would be ideal," said Palomares.

El Ta' Comiendo and other Southside business owners not only hope to cash in on the new image but promote their culture.

The coalition has a meeting this week to discuss landscaping options and that will be the first step.

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