Selma's business district had some stores, but many buildings stood unoccupied and rundown. Efforts to recruit service businesses were unsuccessful. Making aesthetic improvements and offering free rent failed to bring other tenants. Finally in 1997, a theme approach - antiques - was tried. Sixteen dilapidated buildings were offered rent free for a year. They were quickly occupied by antique dealers, who, surprisingly, bought and fixed them up. Selma has had twenty-two grand openings since January, 1998, and the dying district has comer alive.