By DAVID TUMA The Belton Journal Narunya Thai Restaurant on Central Avenue has added two new eating establishments in the back. The first is Toast & Tea Breakfast and a new Italian eating establishment Pastaricotx. There are so many new places opening in Belton it is hard to keep up with. The MKT Train Depot development is adding a host of new establishments over the next few months as more of the construction is completed. Piza Piro, a brick oven pizzeria, will open along with a candy store, Z&H Candy and Toys at the MKT. Blackbird Books and Spirits, a bookstore that serves drinks, and Early Light Creperie is planned at the MKT. “It has been a fantastic time for development. We are fielding calls every day looking for commercial property. This is a product of everybody working together including the chamber, city, and BEDC. We have great schools and a beautiful downtown area. The Belton community is family oriented and our events throughout the year reflect that,” said City of Belton Marketing and Tourism Director Judy Garrett. The old opera house at the corner of Main Street and Water Street has been sold. The former church property is being developed into Bartique Clothing Boutique and a speakeasy. The building at the corner of East Street and Central Avenue that used to house the Hamburger King is under development. A hotel financial feasibility study is being updated by the City of Belton. This was last completed back in 2017. There have been a lot of positives over the past 12 years when The Gin was developed by Robert Dominquez. There have been so many developments by so many different residents in the past years. The Linderman building is the latest major development along with MKT Railroad Depot. The once-vacant buildings that house Tirzha and Oak Fire Pizza took guts, courage, and funding along East Street. The owner of Oak Fire Pizza did a lot of work himself, and he cooks a mean pizza. Tirzha as a dream the owner had to develop an event place out in a historic building. Belton is unique in that so many of these businesses are privately owned, one-of-a-kind Texas-type developments that involve risk and rewards. Every afternoon you can see people coming from all over to walk downtown Belton and enjoy the history, character, and fine food and shopping available. Each store has a unique locally-owned owner who has invested in the community. It was that way decades and decades ago. Local folks working to serve local folks through a variety of businesses in downtown Belton. Those days faded with malls and big box stores. Now they have returned with a major appeal. Much more is to come in the following months. Belton is a destination place with great schools, friendly people, and some hardy folks. BELTON JOURNAL/DAVID TUMA The old Hamburger King building at the Corner of East Avenue and Central Avenue is now under development in downtown Belton.