PALM DESERT - At least two new restaurants will be opening their doors on El Paseo in early 2013.
We asked if these new businesses mean less empty storefronts on Palm Desert's famed street.
For lease signs still pepper some of the storefronts on El Paseo.
But those signs are disappearing with restaurants like Wolfgang Puck Pizza Bar moving in.
"We've seen a total of 40 to 50 store opens in the last two years on El Paseo alone," said Palm Desert's economic development manager, Ruth Ann Moore.
So how many stores still sit vacant?
"Eight to ten percent vacancy, which isn't untypical for this time of year, because as with business you do have closings too, and we will have some new openings we see coming next year," said Moore.
And a couple blocks down on the other side of the street of El Paseo, another restaurant is slated to open either late 2012 or early 2013, that's Mastro's Steakhouse.
Businesses like De Luca Jewelers have been on El Paseo for a couple decades, they told me this spring was a good season for them.
"The fact that Wolfgang Puck would be coming in here is really exciting, its a big name, everybody loves pizza, its a walking town, and even more so the more restaurants we get because people want to eat, they want to walk, then they want to shop," said Barbara Jean Phelps, who works at De Luca Jewelers.
Franco Polo Design has been on El Paseo many years as well, and say there are still many vacancies.
"Probably see an equal amount of for lease signs but its changing, I mean there's different people coming in, and the whole spirit of El Paseo is upgrading itself," said Frank Laulaninan of Franco Polo Design Group.
The economic development department with the city says the worst years for vacancies were 2008 and 2009, but the recession did drive rents down.
"Benefit of the downside of the recession is the upside of seeing more restaurants coming in, in fact I've got another two restaurants that we're also working with we hope they are going to be able to announce too," said Moore.
New restaurants on El Paseo equals more places to dine, and less for lease signs.