Imagine driving down North Oats Street and seeing a welcome area instead of an old packing building. It may not look like much now, but eventually it will be transformed into green space, creating a gateway to downtown.
Its all part of city manager Mike West's vision of a revitalized downtown Dothan.
"You can ark on an adjacent street for lunch, have a lunch bag and who knows, maybe one day they can sit down and there will be squirrels to feed peanuts to or something..." says West
Dothan businessman Joe Davis donated the land to the city. The two buildings have been tested for asbestos and are ready to be demolished sometime next fall.
Eventually, West hopes to see a gateway entrance in all 4 corridors to downtown.
"We are going to plan for some benches, the initial conception was to add a clock tower but I don’t know if we will go that far but there will be trees, but no parking places because traffic wise there is no intersection is and I think it will be good."
Nearby business owners say that by beautifying the area, they hope to see crime go down and their business back up.
"Right now my concerns are all the break-ins, right now there have been some attempts but they have not been successful. Thank you but I think if they clean up the streets, maybe the open space you can see a little better, it'll be more visible, the different businesses and maybe it will cut down on the crime in this area." says Elaine Knight, Owner of the High Rise Cafe
And one woman at greater Beulah Baptist Church hopes the plan will motivate children to appreciate their surroundings.
"The children really need to see a nice atmosphere when they are coming to school." says Lois Sims
In the meantime, the DDRA is currently working on the parking plan for downtown Dothan where the SEACT building is currently located.
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