According to City officials, what's going on in the neighborhood surrounding Del Mar College is an example of how our economy is turning around.

The area has been a prime case of urban blight, but now that is changing as old, abandoned buildings are being renovated or torn down to make way for new businesses.

The College and the City have been among those entities who have tried to bring about improvements to the Ayers and Baldwin area. Now businesses are doing the same thing, and without any kind of incentive package from the City.

The latest such business to spring up in that area is Julian's BBQ. The place opened up about three weeks ago, and the owner says that so far business has been good.

The Zapata family took a chance on renovating the building it moved into, which had been abandoned for some 15 years. Julian Zapata said he is from that neighborhood and wanted to do something to try and bring it back to what it once was.

"It's a big gamble. It's a chance that I wanted to prove that I grew up in this area," Zapata said. "This is my neighborhood, and that's where I want to start. I want to come to my neighborhood and create something. Improve my area."

"There's a lot of activity that's taking place over there on its own," Assistant City Manager Oscar Martinez said. "It's not really having to be incentivized. It is just taking root. It's a reflection of the bouncing back of our economy."

The old ButterKrust factory on Ayers near Baldwin is also going to get a facelift. The place has also been closed for some 15 years. Back on Tuesday, City Council approved a zoning request which would allow the owners to turn the place into the Six Points Market. There will be retail shops, a restaurant and a huge courtyard.

These are just a couple of examples of the revitalization that is now taking place in the area.

City officials say our sales tax numbers continue to be strong, and our property values are bouncing back as well.