Seven Step Revitalization Process Could Be Answer to Downtown Call

By: Deborah Tuff
By: Deborah Tuff

Jimmy Reeves and his partner Lloyd have owned Eye Glass Fashions on the corner of Foster Street for 15 of the stores 30 years.

As he fixes a pair of eyeglasses, he says pigeons have made a nest in a neighboring store and are bothersome.

He also wishes something else near his shop would be as easy to fix as his glasses. "My problem is parking,” he says. “You know, I have a lot of old customers and they don't have anywhere to park and a lot of time they have to park way up the street. Being that they are old they walk way up the street to come down here and get glasses.”

However, these and other plans are getting put on the discussion table during Monday’s public forum. Officials’ hopes are to come up with seven goals that will stimulate revitalization and foster downtown Dothan as a people friendly, pedestrian active, central hub for activity.

"You can't revitalize a downtown area if the citizens of your city don't want it to happen. You need public and private investments for it to be revived," says Cathy Cole with the Downtown Group.

However, Dothan Planning and Development Director Todd McDonald says it won't be easy.

In the plan, he hopes to create what he calls, “A comprehensive and orderly management system” for downtown.

He says the first thing the downtown area would need to properly see the goals through is a catalyst; an all around leader who can negotiate private sector investments as well as government investments.

McDonald speaks of what could very well be a city employee. The city manager is currently getting a job description together for someone who would fit the bill.

The city of Dothan is holding an open house to discuss initial ideas for downtown revitalization.

It’s scheduled for Monday, December 11th from 6:30 to 8:30PM in the City Commission Chambers.

The downtown revitalization plan is broken down into seven parts.

To view those seven parts, click here.


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