Businesses moving into downtown Marianna

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MARIANNA, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - On any given day, Highway 90 in Marianna is bustling with activity and traffic.

"Downtown is the heart of the city of Marianna, and having a healthy heart is important to having a healthy and strong city," Marianna Municipal Development Director Kay Dennis said.

Several new businesses have opened in downtown Marianna recently, including Fat John's Pizza and Yamato Japanese Steakhouse.

"I lived in Mississippi, then came here two months ago to open a restaurant," Yamato manager Lin Chen said.

Yamato management said a planner told them Marianna would be a good fit for their business.

"This city is very good, so we wanted to try to come here to open a new restaurant for the customers and everybody," Chen said.

Many of these businesses are actually located in buildings that haven't been used in several years.

Yamato is located in what was once a Pizza Hut.

Fat John's Pizza is located in an old seafood market that used to be a music store.

"If these businesses weren't coming in, these buildings would eventually fail and have to be removed," Dennis said.

Some of these businesses aren't new.

Domino's Pizza is in the process of moving from Jefferson Street to Highway 90.

The restaurant will be housed in the old Burrito Factory building.

"There's better parking and now they're going to have in-store dining, so that'll be better for their business," Dennis said.

Dennis said these relocations and renovations are good for economic development.

She said officials hope to see more of the same, as these new businesses will offer local and regional opportunities for Marianna.