LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The countdown is on as neighbors await new businesses in southwest Louisville.
In fall 2015, construction began for more than five new business located on Dixie Highway.
"We are so excited," neighbor Carla Puckett said. "For years and years this part of town has always had the stigma of being the blighted area."
But, changes are coming and most are well underway.
"The Chick-fil-A and the Zaxby's are both in progress," Councilman Rick Blackwell, who represents District 12, said. "It seems like they're battling to see who will be the first one to open."
Zaxby's will sit directly in front of the new Marketplace Kroger, in place of the old KMart. The new store will stretch nearly 125,000 square feet and be the first of its kind in Louisville.
"We're finally glad to get a first out here because usually things happen out on Hurstbourne or Shelbyville Road," Puckett said.
But, this will leave another vacant space and in return leave a lot of neighbors hopeful.
"We still would like to have a big department store," Puckett said. "For years and years there has been the rumor of Kohl's coming out, if not maybe get can get a Macy's."
A little further south, the former Toys R Us building is under construction, but the future if still undecided. As for the lot sitting in front of it, Chick-fil-A is making rapid progress.
"I think both Zaxby's and Chick-fil-A looks to b like it will be done in January, I think it will be very soon," Blackwell said.
Just a few doors down, the anticipated Panera Bread has broken ground.
This is all in addition to the $16.9 million T.I.G.E.R. grant added to the "Dixie Do Over" project to improve transportation.
"We have a lot going on in south west Louisville," Blackwell said.
"We have money to spend out here and we would like to keep it in the community," Puckett said.
In spring 2016, phase one of the project will continue. The northern end of Dixie Highway will begin its construction with new medians.