A historic building on 20th Street won’t be empty much longer.

The Adilman building at 126 20th Street West was built in 1912 and was later expanded into Adilman’s Department Store, which served Saskatoon for 50 years. After the store closed the building housed other business but in recent years it has sat relatively empty – until now.

Tasha Altman and Kim Butcher are moving in, and they envision their future French pastry café in one corner of the historic building.

"No matter who we talk to all across the province they know this building. And a smile comes upon their face and I think it'll bring people together,” Altman said.

Interest in Riversdale is on the rise. A slew of new businesses have opened, including restaurants, cafes, a fitness centre, and guitar shop. "Customers are realizing its so close to river landing, so close to the farmers market that it’s a logical place to have a nice commercial area. The more businesses that go in here the better it’s going to get,” Butcher said.

The remainder of the downstairs space in the old department store is going to be converted into a new location of the Eighth Street flower shop, Blossoms. The new shop will be more than a flower retailer, and owner Carla Scharback hopes to help bring back the passion that existed in the neighbourhood when the Adilman Department Store was thriving.

"Revitalization of Riversdale is huge. And the passion that was in this building when it was the Adilman building and everyone shopped here and parents shopped here and it was a department store. I want that feel to come back and for the majesty of the neighbourhood,” Scharback said.

The top floor of the building was recently taken over by Tap Communications, and soon the street level will be full with new tenants as well.

Kari Fox, a Saskatoon realtor, said she gets calls daily asking about rental space in Riversdale.

“Certainly the first two or three blocks are what we all see, but again, that's actually already expanded up to Avenue E right now,” she said.

Given the commercial growth in the area, residential interest has also increased. There are several new housing developments both in the works already and some still on the horizon.