After more than 200 hours of putting together a plan, the downtown Dothan Redevelopment Planning Committee says its time to start renovating downtown.
There’s always been talk about making downtown better, but now it seems money from the sales tax increase will be put to use.
Downtown Redevelopment Authority Chair, James Grant says he's been to 37 cities across the state. But Dothan seems to be the only one not making improvements on its downtown. "We have to have a perception of safety; we've got to have green areas an we've got to get people downtown to make it viable," he said.
Now, the authority has asked the city for $350,000 dollars to go toward a two-phase project.
"The first thing we're looking at is the SEACT building; to purchase that and take that down, remove the jail and put about 30 parking spaces back there. When we do that we want some green spaces on East Main Street, so it'll look real good," added Grant.
The second part of the project involves having building owners donate their dilapidated buildings on the 100 block of North Foster Street so they may be refurbished.
"Downtown will flourish as long as there is investment downtown. It is the hope of the city government [that] we can invest in the anchors to downtown and then private money will flow in," says Dothan Mayor Pat Thomas.
As for a time line? As soon as commissioners approve to allocate the money, the quicker the project will get done.
"That's very important that we do it quick. We don't need to wait. We've been waiting 15 years and nothing [has] happened," concludes Grant.
The commission has already forwarded the authority $50,000 dollars for appraisal work, but only $2000 of that money has been used.
Commissioners’ vote or whether they'll give the rest of the money next Tuesday.
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