TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — A multi-million dollar plan to revitalize downtown Towson is well underway. A new movie theater, shops and restaurants will attract thousands of visitors–but will they be safe?

As Gigi Barnett reports, the county is taking extra steps to make sure crime doesn’t come with the construction.

Cranes and construction workers decorate downtown Towson. A new movie theater, parking garage, restaurants and stores are all in the works. It’s an $800 million upgrade to an area that was losing its luster.

“It’s dingy. It wasn’t kept well. Then there’s nothing. There was nothing there when you went inside,” said Laura Smith-Valazquez.

But this week, as the county unveiled more plans for the multi-million dollar project, it’s also including upgrades designed to keep visitors safe.

“We’ve also made sure that all public lighting has been upgraded in the entertainment district, making our streets 50 percent brighter,” said County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “And we are adding safer crosswalks with clearly marked intersections.”

Kamenetz says his number one priority is to keep the downtown Towson area safe and family-friendly. And so, the police department has assigned five additional officers to that beat.

“Instead of going all the way to White Marsh or all the way out to some other movie theater, this is a little more closer to home,” said Lindsey Yik.

That’s one reason why Yik is looking forward to the theater’s grand opening. The other reason is the area’s bottom line.

“It will bring in a lot of money to the area, and money is good,” she said.

The long-awaited movie theater opens on July 10.

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