PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — The Promenades at Parkside Mall will get a facelift as developers look to make it the centerpiece of downtown Port Charlotte.

On Friday, Charlotte County officials and property owner Jeff Morr knocked down a wall, signifying the start of the project. The plan: take the 26-acre property and add stores, restaurants, apartments, and a hotel within walking distance of each other.

“It will be a live work-play community where people can live, they can work, they can sit in a cafe and work remotely as many people do,” Morr explained. “And of course, they will be able to go out and have drinks and have dinner and walk and exercise. It’s a place where you won’t even need a car.”

People in the area say the Promenades was the downtown core and are happy it’s coming back with a new look.

“It’s very sentimental here because this is just such a cornerstone of growing up in Charlotte County as teenagers,” said Deanna Heminger, who lives nearby. “It’s fantastic, breathing new life into the center of town. I can’t wait to see what happens.”

Morr said his vision for the property will bring back that feeling of having a centered downtown area.

“We’re reviving this place and taking it to light years ahead of even its past glory,” Morr said. “We’re going to create something really special here and a magnet for everyone within many miles from here.”

One of the newest tenants at Promenades at Parkside is SMASH IT Shatter & Splatter Rooms, owned by Kyle and Jason Myers, a husband and wife duo. They told Fox 4 they are excited more development will surround their business which is set to open in early August.

Renovations are underway at the rest of Promenades, and Morr expects the entire project to be completed within five to seven years.